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Spiritual Life

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I have to admit that I’m struggling. Why? Because we’re battling an infestation of mealybugs in our back garden. On the advice of friends and neighbours, we’re now holding the bugs at bay by hosing our plants down with water and then spraying them with diluted washing up liquid. But it’s not winning the battle of the mealybugs that I’m struggling with.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Although I know that, in theory, I should be thankful for all God’s creatures, I’ve now met yet another one that’s putting me to the test. Do I really have to be thankful for these ‘cotton’-producing beasts that are laying waste to my precious plants? What use can they possibly be when they can so quickly destroy what I value? That, it turns out, is the question that matters.

Mealybugs may be attacking my plants but, as they thrive, they provide food for one of my favourite insects – ladybirds. The reality is that, like the whole of creation, the insect populations of our back gardens are bound together in complicated, interdependent ways. And the same is true of the relationship between the natural world and human society, whether it is on a local or a global scale. We may not see or understand the connections but they are there all the same. So rather than encouraging me to rail against their destructive powers, the very existence of mealybugs is a reminder to me of the fact that every living thing has a place and purpose in the scheme of things.

Until next time,

Revd Judie

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