Today I apologized to a pupa in a cocoon, and then I squished it. It was metamorphosing on one of the tomatoes that I had picked from my garden. Honestly, squashing insects is extremely distasteful. I do it, not because I hate bugs, but because I dislike the destruction they bring on the fruiting plants. I kill them for the health of my garden. I also destroy slugs, earwigs, sow bugs, aphids, caterpillars, and other such undesirables. And I apologize to them. That may seem sentimental maybe even idiotic, but I do it in honor of their Creator.
The tiny creatures that I kill are doing what they must do to exist. All the same, God made them, and I feel a bit of remorse when I exterminate them. My own belief is that God, the Creator of all that is earth, cares about all that is earthen. That is not to say that He doesn’t realize that some things have become a nuisance. Not at all. I think He sees the problem in great detail and understandingly looks on while I capture and do away with them. But I’ll not do it disrespectfully as though God gives no thought to such bothersome creatures.
Once I was having a conversation with a Christian young man who was learning gun safety so that he could go hunting with his dad. He was overly excited and exclaimed that when he was done with his training, he could go out and “kill something.” Chills and shivers crept over me. Now, I am not opposed to hunting or the killing of animals when it is appropriate and respectful. It was the underlying attitude that frightened me. He would kill without regard for the Creator of such a wonderful creatures. I think he could use a lesson in Native American respect for creation and for the One Who Made It.
As for me, I will continue to extend shalom, peace, to those earthen creatures with whom I live and with those who die for my own sense of well being. I’ll do it for the honor of their Creator because what He loves, I love.