We are under siege from a small, non-biting coastal pest known as the Fuzzy Bill. These small, mosquito-like insects are attacking the Outer Banks in hordes with the passion and fury of White Walkers on a winter prowl. They are heartless, mindless and unstoppable. People are literally scooping up bucketfuls of these things from their pools and porches. Fuzzy Bills, also known as midges, love water and light, so you have to strategically race from the car to the front door in the evenings, making sure all of your party has arrived at the door together (just like at a restaurant) before you can open it and woooosh in as one body. Even with that tactic, you’ll get about 200 Fuzzies in the door with you. Vacationers are complaining that they can’t enjoy the decks of their rentals due to the proliferation of bugs.
And to add to the fun, midges attract spiders. Yes, spiders. When they descend in swarms, the spiders get super excited and emerge in your house to build large, sticky webs in hopes of catching a crunchy meal. There’s nothing better than annoying flying things that increase the spider population. Basically we just try to stay indoors with the lights off until they leave.
Usually I am not one to question the majesty of God’s creation, yet I wonder why the Fuzzy Bills even exist. They don’t pollinate flowers like the bee, they don’t add to our beauty like the firefly….why, God, WHY?
A little research gave me the answer. Midges are a very important part of the aquatic ecosystem. The larvae are laid in the water and exist off of marine debris, thus cleaning the water like a Britta filter. The adult midges provide food for fish and predatory aquatic insects. So these seemingly useless annoyances actually contribute to the cleanliness of our water and the health of our fish. And here on the Outer Banks, we live off of our water and our fishing industry.
Did you ever think that way about people? You probably know someone whose contribution to the world seems minimal. Perhaps they appear lazy, distant, or just unconnected. Yet like the Fuzzy Bill, that person just might turn out to have a purpose, and is useful in ways that aren’t as obvious to the naked eye.
Even the most broken person has something to teach us about compassion and patience. The addicts, the criminals, the unrepentant, and the rest of the “not-us” people are precious to God, and thus should be precious to us.
I know a young woman who succumbed to heroin addiction. For years it was her master. Several attempts at rehab were unsuccessful. Her mother would reach out to me for prayer, and we prayed hard every time. This mother never saw her daughter as an hopeless addict. She saw her as a lost child of God. Eventually, finally, the daughter remembered her purpose, and rehab took hold. She now is a bright and shining star; she is a well sought after personal trainer, newly married, and has been clean and sober for four years. It would have been easy to have written her off, but her mother looked into her child’s deep waters, and believed she was called to a better purpose.
Who is God calling you to see in a different light today? Who needs a second chance? To see as God sees is a thing of beauty. To look deeper than surface appearances is to be Christ-like. Beauty might only be skin deep, but so is someone’s attitude. They may be hiding pain, depression, addiction, intense loneliness, a need for attention…you won’t know until you dive into their deep waters and seek to understand their heart. Give it a try and learn the why behind someone’s who. You just might be Jesus to someone today.