Just in time for Halloween, Little Miss T, one of my Sunday School students, approaches me in class this week. Quietly, so the others wouldn’t hear her, she whispers, “Miss Jody, there was a black spider in the corner during the lesson earlier. It was big and hairy.”spider

I think it takes a different kind of person to like spiders. I don’t have that gift; spiders creep me out. I have noticed, however, that anything smaller than a dime usually doesn’t bother me. At this point in the conversation, though, I’m not so worried about the spider as I am so touched that Little Miss T is whispering so that her classmates don’t hear her and try to launch a crazed attack. (Our church serves donuts before Sunday School. The Second and Third Grade Class gets a little rowdy. Teachers, too.)

I can’t even focus on the spider at the moment, because I’m studying her calm, focused demeanor. She knows I don’t like spiders. She’s delivering her grim message, but in such a solid manner, one-on-one.

“In the corner?” I whisper back. Little Miss T nods. “Did it look like that big one from a couple weeks ago?” I ask. Little Miss T nods again.

“Oh, boy,” I say grimly. “I’m not looking over there. I’m not looking.” I continue helping her glue her pyramid together. “Do you see it now?” I whisper.

Her big kid eyes stealthily look to the right, and, arousing no suspicion from the others, she slowly looks back to me again. “No,” is all she whispers. She’s emphatic about it.

I widen my eyes and look at her squarely to make sure she’s not kidding around. She opens her eyes wide and nods. She’s not kidding. And I’m so fascinated by her delivery of this news that I find I’m really not afraid of this spider at all.

“I’m going to pretend it’s gone,” I whisper. “I’ll look for it after class. Don’t worry. Thank you for telling me.”

She takes her paper pyramid to the next station where Miss Jennifer helps her add sand.

On the drive home after class, I’m still thinking about this conversation, and I decide: if I’m ever in a tough spot, I want to have someone like Little Miss T there with  me—someone thoughtful, steadfast, and brave.

And then I think: Dante had Virgil to lead him through hell.

I’d choose a second grader.


No spider was harmed in the telling of this tale–mostly because we couldn’t find it.

Amazon has my book: Upside Down Kingdom.