Thursday, July 3, 2008

28. My encounters with poly-legged-freaks

Yeah! I am a born arachnophobic through and through or rather an ‘insectophobic’ would be more appropriate, because just any insect for that matter can spill the gut out of me!! Creepy, crawling poly-legged-hairy creatures, dreadful eyes and scary fang, writhing about…Eeek! Just enough to send a chill down through my spine and make my hair stand up and render me sleepless for nights….Eeeek!
A beautiful Sunday morning worship at church…Melodious songs fill the whole place...The church is not a typical church in the strict sense, it’s just a small hall, in a small nook of our ‘kattangal metropolis’ where 50-60 odd people gather every week for the service.
What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and pains to bear,
What a privilege to carry,
Everything to God in prayer......
The believers are having a wonderful time of worship session, and they are singing their hearts out to the Lord. In the second row of the right wing, stands me singing away to glory along with the rest of the flock. But unknown to everyone around, my mind has an inner private chit chat with God Almighty…
God reminds me of the innumerable things He’s done for me in the past few weeks, and lists them down…
God: This is another week that you’ve got in your life Neethu, are you gonna testify the blessings in your life today at least? Don’t you remember all those things that I’ve done for you? Don’t you know that the testimonies you give encourages your disheartened brothers just as how you have been uplifted a number of times by their testimonies?
Me: Uh..hmm…ya Lord...but, those were big things…things which you can clearly label as real miracles….
God: Wasn’t scoring 19/20 for that subject in which, you weren’t even sure to scrape through, a miracle? Wasn’t the retrieval of your lost precious Fast Track watch from a total stranger a miracle? Wasn’t the healing of the sickness, the day before your exam, a miracle enough? Wasn’t it a miracle when the centipede that bumped against your foot went away harmlessly?
Me: hmm..yeah…but they can have other logical explanations too…cant they?? I mean I’m not trying to belittle you…but will they be good enough for the people to increase their faith? Wouldn’t it be nice to tell them about something, where only divine intervention, be the only possible explanation? When I come across such a one in my life, I’ll surely testify your goodness, Lord![I thus try to shy away giving all sorts of lame excuses]
[shakes his head and sighs at my chickening out ]: Do you want to wait till that?............ 
Me: [just shrugs off and continues singing… ]
After a little while, I feel something brushing against my leg. Was it the wind? Dismissing it as just the play of mind, I continue singing…quite uneasily though –all sorts of weird possibilities were cropping up in my head. But soon, I could feel the distinct crawling up…up of definitely something. Could it be an ant? Eek! I get freaked out by ants as well! But when did ants become so big and heavy? And did it have more than 6 appendages? Now I could feel it going up through my leg, above my knees…the picture of a scurrying centipede flashed across my mind (only a few weeks before, a centi had come and ‘kissed’ my feet and(thankfully)went away harmlessly) …Heck no! it can’t be a centi! It shouldn’t be that!
Whatever it was, it had now reached my waist –I was struggling to keep myself calm. I have watched enough of animal planet and discovery channel, to be careful not to agitate the whatever-thingy inside my clothes. I just loosened my pant-belt so that it won’t have any obstruction, and thus find a reason to sting me. Now I could feel it go up my body, my back. It was now scaling my spine. Just out of curiosity(read fear), I felt it against my body, with my hand over my shirt! Eek! It was something really gigantic…omg! Somebody do something! God???
Then all of a sudden the commotion stopped. God! Where’s it now? I stood still, barely breathing…Now I could sense a big lump near my shoulders. Fighting back fear and panic, I just peeped inside my shirt over my shoulders…and what I saw makes me jump up in fright and disgust now, even though I didn’t, then! One of the most dreadful sights an ‘insectophobic’ like me could ever have –100s of twitching legs of a big-fat-fully-grown centipede, snuggling ‘cozily’ against my shoulders!!!
I didn’t know what to do…But surprisingly enough, I didn’t freak out or jump up and down or scream the sense out of the people around. In fact, I was still subconsciously singing the song along with the rest of them! But I couldn’t put on that façade of courage for long -I whispered to MaSaJo standing next to me, that an insect had got inside my clothes, could she help me get it out (I didn't want to freak her out by mentioning that it was a centi). We both moved out silently…the centi still comfortably(highly uncomfortable for me) perched on my shoulders….

MaSaJo assessed the situation and declared that I should take off my shirt, if the thing was still inside. I too felt that it was the only possible thing for me to do. We went to an adjacent room in the church building. As soon as MaSaJo shut the door of the room, I threw away my shirt, and THUD! MaSaJo jumped up and let out a silent scream, as the 10-15 cms long big-fat-ugly-poly-legged creature hit the floor with a thud! It then quickly slithered away to the darkness, underneath a cupboard…
We both stood speechless for a while…then praise just began to flow from our lips and hearts…I couldn’t thank God enough…That was the scariest moment of my life, and I came out of it unscathed. Well, I asked for it…sort of…I was waiting for a tangible-divine-intervention-involving-miracle…and it seemed as if dear God went to this extent to give me what I had asked for. That’s the inference that I made out of this small drama. Otherwise why in the world did that yucky centi chose to make an expedition up my body, when there were scores of other people around me?
The worship session was just getting over, when we got back, and it was the time for the testimonies. I didn’t need any coaxing or cajoling now to testify the goodness of my God. My gratitude and thankfulness overcame my shyness and fear-of-facing-the-crowd, and I just opened my heart and testified His faithfulness in front of the whole crowd:D…
Anything could have happened. It could have given me a real painful if not a fatal sting! Or its 101 sharp legs would have been enough to hurt me! Or even if it did nothing, out of sheer panic, I could have freaked out and hurt myself or disrupted the wonderful service. But God miraculously helped me keep a level head and maintain my calm...:D
Even now I shudder as I recollect the whole incident. But when I think of the fact that I’m in His hands, I can be at peace. :)
“I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to
overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.’' John 2:22
PS1: Well that wasn’t the first or the last (though it was the scariest) of my encounters with the poly-legged-freaks… Sadly(read scaringly) it has a freaky past, and unfortunately(again scaringly) it’s having a freaky future as well…will be jotting them down in subsequent posts…
PS2: Entomophobia –that’s the term for fear of insects…but I guess each encounter with various poly-legged-freaks is making me less entomophobic by and by;)