From out of nowhere, it suddenly materialized on my kitchen counter. A grub-like worm: fat, white, and moving faster than I would have ever believed possible.
“Eww, Mom! There’s another one!” It was evening, and I was preparing dinner, slicing vegetables while talking with our daughter and son who had just come home, sweaty and hungry, from a basketball clinic at school. Sure enough, there was another maggot. I snatched a paper towel and swept them up, making a beeline for the toilet to flush the vileness away.
As I walked back into the kitchen, a third one plopped down onto the counter. The three of us simultaneously looked up. Maggots dropping from the ceiling?!? This defied imagination—but there were no worms on the ceiling. As they continued to fall, we realized that they must be coming from the cabinets above. I braced myself, hopped on a chair, and yanked a cupboard door open, half-expecting to be buried in a landslide of squishy, squirmy invaders.
But no, there were none. I peered through one cupboard after another. Nothing. Oh wait, there’s ONE. I dumped it into the biodegradable bin and returned to chopping onions, careful to first move out of the way of the falling worms.
Still the maggots kept dropping. They would plop onto the counter and make a desperate dash for the edge, where they would plummet to the floor and speed toward dark recesses, like under the oven. I caught most of them, but I knew we might be in trouble when they kept showing up after dinner. What were these despicable creatures doing in our house? They looked like ground-dwelling things—like what natives in the bush dig up for dinner when KFC is closed. Why on earth were they raining in my kitchen?
It was a full evening. Our daughters were scheduled to leave the next morning at the ridiculous hour of 3:45 for a service trip to another part of the island. I did not have much time to focus on the loathsome maggots before bed.
Following a fitful sleep, I got up at 3:15, checking first to confirm that the travelers were awake, then flipping on the light in the kitchen. Ugh! Eight or ten maggots crawled in the sink. Others wriggled under the dish rack, and yet more were snuggled with the moist dish rag at the sink’s edge. Who signed me up for this? I know it was not I.
I grabbed the paper towels again and went to work. After I cleared them all away, I located a roll of packing tape and stretched a long line of it across the base of the cabinets, blocking the narrow entryway by which these maggots were invading. What else could I do? Then I hugged my girls goodbye and went back to bed, hopeful that the worms would just go away.
By midday the next day I saw no more maggots. Relief. But where had they come from? I could not get away from the fact that they did not belong here; there must be some explanation. Putting two and two together, we remembered that a few days previously we had smelled an atrocious stench in the same area of the kitchen. A dead smell. We had searched but found nothing, finally realizing that it was probably some expired animal sandwiched in the space between the kitchen ceiling and the upstairs floor. The odor had mercifully gone away, but apparently not before flies had discovered the rotting carcass, laid their eggs, and produced a swarming mass of maggots, poised to storm our unsuspecting family.
I am pretty sure there must be spiritual applications to this story. Maybe as you read this they will pop out at you. However, for now I am going to simply give God thanks, and then try to forget the invasion. I may not understand everything He brings my way, but that is okay. It is not always about analyzing His design.
So I will just be thankful.
- Because I do not have to eat maggots for dinner.
- Because these disgusting worms make the ever-foraging ants in my kitchen look positively friendly.
- Because I have a kitchen and a family and food and a roof…all gifts that far outweigh the inconvenience of a few maggots.
- Because they have stopped falling, and the smell went away, and I do not normally have to live with such things.
- But mostly, because God is good. All the time—even when I do not understand, and maggots are falling from heaven, and my house might soon be full of flies. It is okay. I give thanks that He is God, that He is in control, and that I can trust Him.
Still, please do not sign me up for any more critters…
Question to consider: When you face trials, how do you get from a grumbling attitude to a thankful attitude?