Unification News for January, 1997
The Little Spider
by Melvin D. Perry-Berkeley, CA
This is a story about a little baby spider who saved Jesus' life. King Herod was very much afraid of the baby Messiah and ordered all newborn children killed. Jesus' parents fled to Egypt for safety. They traveled during the night so the Roman army would not see them. But the vast Roman army was quickly catching up to them. Joseph and Mary were less than a day's travel ahead of the approaching army. Instead of going across the open plain, they were guided toward the mountain regions.
It was much quicker to cross the plains and very difficult to go over the rugged mountain terrain-especially when you are carrying a newborn baby. Guided by total faith, with God they started their journey over the mountain tops. From their viewpoint, they could see the campfires of the army's soldiers and at times heard their voices. Mary was becoming very fatigued and needed some rest. After all, she had just recently given birth and had very little time to recover before they had to flee for safety.
As they went over one of the mountain tops, they came across a series of caves. Joseph, lighting a torch, looked into the caves to see which one was better suited to hide in. Mary was so tired, she was already resting on the ground when Joseph returned to her and Jesus. Jesus was calmly sleeping in Mary's arms. Joseph carried Mary and Jesus as quickly as he could to the back of the cave. Before they left their home, Joseph, being a carpenter and therefore skilled with his hands, had made a sword to protect his family. While Mary and Jesus slept, Joseph kept guard just in case the soldiers entered the cave.
They were so far in the cave that they could not see the opening any more. This was Joseph's strategy. For what soldier would want to search a deep and dark cave with the chance of meeting a mountain lion in one of them. The Roman army was already at the bottom of the mountain which Joseph and his family were on. By morning they would surely be at the caves. Joseph and his family were guided by Heavenly angels to cross over the mountains. Without questioning, they followed with total faith in God.
The cave they were hiding in did not have a mountain lion in it, but it did have another inhabitant: a little baby spider. This spider was awakened when Joseph carried his family into the cave. He was curious as to why anybody would want to enter a cave-especially at night! So when Joseph came out of the cave, the little spider climbed onto Joseph and went with him to the mountain's edge. There they saw the soldiers preparing their weapons.
With tears in his eyes, Joseph quietly prayed to God for the protection of his family. Joseph knew that tomorrow might well be his last day alive. But he made a pledge to protect Mary and the baby Messiah. The little spider heard Joseph's prayer and was deeply moved. He did not know anything about the baby Messiah, but his heart was moved by the sound and feel and vibration of the love of a father. When Joseph returned to the cave to check on his family, the little spider jumped off of him. The little spider wanted to help, but what could a spider do-especially a baby spider? So the baby spider thought for a moment, and immediately he had an idea.
The spider crawled to the cave's opening and began to make a spider's web-but not any ordinary spider's web. This was his first spider's web and he wanted it to be the biggest and best of any kind. After all, he wanted to protect the baby Messiah whom he had heard Joseph praying about. All during the night this little baby spider kept weaving this beautiful web. The cave entrance was at least seven feet tall and four feet wide. Never once did he take a rest or slow down. This spider was focusing everything he had for the completion of his first spider's web.
As the sun was coming up over the horizon, the Roman soldiers were preparing their journey up the mountainside. Joseph was deep in the cave preparing to defend Mother Mary and Baby Jesus. The baby spider was still weaving as the soldiers came closer and closer. The baby spider was very slow compared to the much older and experienced spiders, but he kept working as fast as he could. The soldiers were going into each cave, looking to kill the baby Messiah. As they approached the opening of the cave, where Joseph's family was, they stopped.
They stared at the beautiful web. The morning dew was already covering the web, and as the light of the morning sunrise hit the web, an array of incredibly beautiful colors was reflecting off it. It looked as if a rainbow were covering the cave's entrance. The army commander was so impressed with the beauty of the web that he did not want to damage it. So he began to think of excuses for not destroying it.
He finally reasoned that it would have taken many days to weave such a huge web, and if anyone had entered the cave they would have surely damaged parts of the web. So he gave orders for no one to damage or enter the cave. From this reasoning, he was sure that no one was in the cave. Joseph was at the back of the cave, hearing every word the soldiers were saying. He was curious about the spider's web, which surely had not been there when they entered the cave. After an hour, when the army had moved onward towards other mountains, Joseph awoke Mary and they made their way to the opening of the cave.
There they saw the same rainbow effect which the Roman soldiers had seen. Mary woke Jesus so he could see the beautiful web. Jesus saw the different colors and began laughing with great joy. After a while Joseph used his sword to cut an opening and they exited the cave. During the whole crisis, Jesus had been asleep. Not once did Jesus cry or make trouble to endanger his parents' and his own life. As they left the cave, Jesus was smiling and waving towards an area of the cave. Mary was curious, but figured that babies will be babies.
Jesus was waving directly toward the little spider who had saved him and his family from death. The little spider was honored to have saved the baby Messiah's life. That baby spider had not complained or given up. He only knew that someone needed help. So instead of thinking only about himself, the little spider started to think about serving others. And from the sacrifice of the whole night's rest of a little spider, the whole world was able to come so much closer to God-all because someone thought of another being. And as Jesus waved good-bye to the little spider, the baby spider fell asleep with a huge smile on his face. Goodnight.
Reprinted from "American Neighborhood," the newsletter of the Northern California Unification Community
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