I mentioned in my last post that I had a cute story about a mosquito. Here it is:
Mosquitoes love me, and I mean “love” in the same sense that you might say, “Homer Simpson loves the local Mello Creme.”
Last weekend, as I was working on the deck, I felt the unmistakable pin-prick sensation of a mosquito’s proboscis sinking into my shoulder. I had my hands full, so I couldn’t brush it away, but I asked the same question I ask every time I am bitten:
“God, what were you thinking when you came up with mosquitoes?”
This time around, I decided I really wanted an answer to that question, so I stopped what I was doing, watched the mosquito work, and thought about what qualities of God she might reflect. But instead of recognizing divine Love in the mosquito, I realized that the mosquito was there to give me an opportunity to reflect Love in the form of supply.
For that mosquito, at that moment, I represented God’s provision. I had been placed in that spot at that moment to provide her with nourishment.
As I studied the mosquito’s delicate little body, two things came to thought.
The first was that this tiny creature, whom I’d thought of as a pest just seconds before, was kind of pretty, with her graceful lines, interesting black-and-white striped hind legs, and long, aristocratic snout, all perfectly adapted to help her survive in a seemingly hostile world. Such an elegant creature must obviously be a perfect idea of divine Mind. How could I hate one of God’s own ideas?
The second was one of my favorite lines from Science and Health: “Giving does not impoverish us in the service of our Maker, neither does withholding enrich us.”
Conventional wisdom and past experience would suggest that I was sure to have an itchy, pink bump on my skin as a result of the bite … but as I thought about that in light of the line I just quoted, it occurred to me that metaphysically, it didn’t make any sense at all to think that I could be harmed by giving one of God’s creatures a meal. I wasn’t doing anything wrong. In fact, I was doing something very right: I was loving my enemy.
The mosquito finished her meal, and I went back to my work. A few hours later, I realized there was no bump, no itching, and no sign of any kind to indicate that the mosquito had ever touched me.
A tiny healing, to be sure, but it packs a big lesson: When we change our perception of our enemy, and we raise our expectations about our interactions with that enemy, healing naturally follows.