The Tall Tale Of Taylor & The Praying Mantis

I am going to tell you a story. There are parts of this story that are true and parts that I have elaborated, because…

Well, because I want to.

I will leave it up to you, the reader, to decide what is true and what is fiction.

*cue the Twilight Zone theme music*

                                 Taylor & The Praying Mantis

Taylor, my dear and forever friend, moved into an apartment. It’s a magical place filled with countless books all arranged by color. She sits in the apartment overlooking the lavish square of Noblesville and ponders the meaning of life, the existence of God and the universe, and is, sadly, plagued by bugs of all shapes and sizes.

Now, if you’ve ever had the express pleasure of meeting Taylor, you will know that it is severely painful to see her big, deer eyes puddle up with tears. Your own heart will momentarily fail to pump blood that will suddenly grow cold in your veins. You stomach will drop like a boulder to the tips of your toes when her bottom lip begins to quiver and those giant asteroid-sized tears begin to fall…

In this moment, the earth’s axles get rusty and stall. No one is aware of this because God does us a solid and freezes time while he kicks the gears, gives them a good, stern talking to, and pours Pluto-sized buckets of oil on the axles until they begin to turn again (the things that guy does to save the world!!).

And then, there you are again. You blink. Taylor is wiping the tears from her eyes. You ask her what’s wrong and she whispers, “It’s all the bugs. My heart. Oh, my heart can’t take it!”

“Do you have a fly swatter?” you ask, frowning—uncomfortable with all the emotions. You know that gently cupping her butt will make her feel better, but you refuse. That’s totally inappropriate…and you’re not that good of a friend.

“No fly swatter,” she says.

So Taylor, sitting in the middle of her bug infested apartment begins to pray fervently to God. She’s on her knees, trembling in fear—not fear of God, but fear of the palm-sized spiders that are encroaching on her, eyes lustful, mouths salivating…

“Lord, if you could just get rid of all these bugs, I will forever talk about how wonderful my friends, the Coopers—you’re familiar right?—well, I will forever talk about how good and wonderful they are. Just take all the bugs away. Okay? And if you hear me, if you are really, really with me, just send me a praying mantis as a sign.”

Perhaps you are confused as to why Taylor would ask God to take the bugs away and send a bug in return?

Me too.

But lo and behold, Taylor comes out of the bathroom and all the bugs, even the palm-sized spiders, have been vanquished. And there, like a beacon of light in the middle of her bed, sits a praying mantis. Gentle. Meek. Innocent. Taylor misses the drop of spider blood at it's dainty, twisted mouth.

Off to stage left, just out of sight, God winks at you and me and jabs his thumb at his chest, clearly letting us know how rad he is. As if we didn't know.

But this is not the end of God showing off in Taylor’s life.

Taylor has a magical job to match the magical apartment. Well, she started a second magical job today, but that’s another story. While dressed as a time traveler and working in costume in the captivating and enthralling world of Conner Prairie, Taylor is sitting with her sister time traveler, and lo and behold, shining like a beacon of light on the lap of her 1800’s dress, there’s a praying mantis. Perhaps it is the same one? Who knows, as they’re rather difficult to distinguish between. Not that we can get a good look because Taylor is spazzing with pure joy. “He’s here!” she squeals, her deer eyes filling with tears. “God is here with me!” And she points excitedly at the praying mantis, confusing her sister time traveler friend.

But this is not the end of God showing off in Taylor’s life.

Here she is, on the Cooper’s love seat—the Coopers that God is familiar with, I assure you—and she’s singing with Mr. Roger Cooper when Mr. Roger’s eyes grow large and he falls out of his seat. “My word!” he declares in awe. He’s pointing at a spot behind Taylor. “There! Right there on the window behind you!”

Taylor jumps up, ready to flee for her life.

But there, shining like a beacon of light and sitting right smack dab on the window is a palm-sized spider with mouth salivating.

No. Sorry. That was a lie. It was a praying mantis.

Taylor is a puddle of tears in the floor. “They’re a sign of feminism,” she is crying dramatically. “That’s why I asked God to send it to me as a sign.”

Mrs. Gia Cooper is skeptical. “I thought you wanted him to send them to prove you were delivered from the plague of the salivating spiders?”

“Shut up, Gia!”

Well, so much for her promise to tote the raddness of the Coopers.

No biggie.

God’s familiar with us.


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