The people who know about these things say to use caution when handling a tarantula.
Strangely, the word of caution is for the wellbeing of the tarantula, not the holder. Sources say that a fall even from a few feet can cause the spider’s abdomen to burst. And that if a tarantula’s tummy is ruptured, he will likely die within a couple of hours.
My first thought, who in their right mind handles a tarantula? My second thought, how do they know? My third thought … ewwwwwww!
Still, I do find it interesting that something that strikes fear into the hearts of most sane people, has such vulnerability. I am told a tarantula’s venom is not deadly but it will definitely make you sick with fever and nausea. To protect itself against danger, a tarantula “kicks” hairs he scrapes from his own belly at a potential predator. These hairs may produce swelling and a painful rash on a perceived threat’s skin. If the tarantula does bite, the result may be throbbing and aching at the site but the discomfort will likely subside in a few hours.
People, this is not a kitten or a puppy. It’s not even a hamster. It’s dangerous.
I am going to err on the side of caution here and say, “Don’t do it!”
There’s not enough money in the world… Okay, well I might be persuaded to hold a tarantula in my bare hands for a cool million dollars.
I digress. I guess everybody has a soft spot (pun intended) no matter how mean or scary they look on the outside. Even an oversized spider with a face only a mother could love must be handled with care by humans.
Still, humans don’t always handle other humans with care, do they? Invariably, those with soft spots on our bellies endure numerous ruptures of our tender spirits over time. Eventually, the life is sucked out of us.
Those doing the handling may not even be aware of the damage. The injured often crawl away and quietly succumb to their injuries. No one is the wiser.
Unkind words. Clenched fists. Raised hands.
Belly flops, ALL.
So I got to thinking, about the fact that the only one with a pair of hands strong enough, wise enough, loving enough to hold us and keep us safe is God.
He made us, every inch of us. He knows us inside and out. He loves us, all of us with two legs or eight. Spikey fur or smooth skin. Beauty or beast. Vulnerable or not.
He holds us in the palm of his nail-scarred hands and He’s careful to guard that soft-underbelly. He protects it with His life. He gave His life for it.
So the next time you feel your soft underbelly is exposed, simply rest. Rest in His capable hands and know that all is well. He won’t let you fall.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10