Random isn't random

spider web in green.jpg

I spent part of my evening watching a spider, silhouetted against the darkening sky, weave her web. I marveled at her sense of innate purpose as she moved and dropped, turned and backtracked, in seemingly random patterns across the space between the beams of my porch. Sometimes I could make out a pattern, sometimes it made sense, but most of the time it did not.

Who am I to be witness to this mystery, this miracle? I don’t know how the spider’s creator fashioned her with this knowledge. I know nothing of the inner workings of her intuition, or if she even had a sense of what end result would come from the delicate thread unfurling from within her own body.

She simply did what she was created to do, regardless of how messy or random the process, and would by morning find herself in a home of her own making. It takes my breath away just thinking about it.

This is not unlike the mysterious beauty of unfolding that happens within ourselves as the Spirit moves and weaves her way in and through us. We rarely are privy to the result of our listening, discerning, surrendering ahead of time. Certainly as a spiritual director, gifted with a witnessing eye and heart, I can only watch in awe as directees wandering in circuitous and seemingly random directions are awakened to grace, and then greet the sun with a new sense of home and security.

Our Creator, the same one as formed the interior knowledge of sister spider, intimately draws out of us exactly what we need in each moment, even if the reason and purpose are obscured from our eyes as we unfold.

We need to be witnessed. We need someone to see our turnings and weavings, and hear our sighs in the dusk of our days. We need another to receive our yearnings and doubts. And we need someone to celebrate with us when the dawn comes and all God has brought forth in us is revealed.

Christine Hiester