I was sitting out back in my little herb garden recently, pondering life and the fungus that has taken over my mint, when I noticed a little worm of some sort crawling across the paving stones. I am a lover of bugs and most living things, but I have to say—this was an ugly worm. It was exactly the color of nasty clay mud with a beady black head. I believe my lip curled in distaste as I watched it.
But then—as I watched it—I began to notice how effortlessly the little creature made his way across the stones, how he smoothly negotiated the cracks between the stones, cracks easily a third of his own length. He just rippled along, seemingly with definite purpose.
What kind of brain is required to make that happen? And how tiny must the brain be? What a marvel of creation is this little brown worm! When we are advised in Proverbs to “go to the ant . . .Consider her ways and be wise,” I know the diligence of the ants is the main point. But taking note of God’s tiny creatures can afford a different kind of wisdom as well—wisdom to understand that beauty is about more than looks.
Recently I saw a post on Facebook that I just had to share. It said something like this: I may not do everything well, but at least I don’t have ugly children. I thought that little gem was clever enough to share. So I did. But then I thought better of it. Who does have ugly children? Does anyone? No one I know. All our children are beautiful because they are our dear ones. It’s more than a cliché that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Ray Stevens used to sing that song “Everything is Beautiful.” I am not ready to go that far, but many things are beautiful. God has made an amazing world and given incredible talents and gifts to creatures as humble as worms. Jesus advised his hearers to observe the birds of the air and the grass of the field to see examples of God’s loving care (Matthew 6). Worms will also work.