Lots of people I know really don't like spiders. Maybe it's the feeling of those eight legs running along your arm. Or maybe just the thought that they might. I used to feel that way, and it definitely was the legs that bothered me. There were just too many.
But then one day I realized that God made everything. He made it perfect. The Bible tells about this. It says that everything He made is spiritual - it has His goodness. Spiders actually have a spiritual, good nature, even if they don't seem to. In fact, since God is the one Mind in the universe, spiders express His intelligence. They can't be yucky.
I had never really thought of any kind of bug, not to mention spiders, as expressing the intelligence of Mind. I knew that people, and of course my pets, did. But I started to see that every part of God's creation is both perfect and spiritual.
A book I like to read says: "There is but one creator and one creation. This creation consists of the unfolding of spiritual ideas and their identities, which are embraced in the infinite Mind and forever reflected. These ideas range from the infinitesimal to infinity, and the highest ideas are the sons and daughters of God" (Mary Baker Eddy, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Pgs. 502-503).
When you think of creation as God's ideas, then the way things look isn't so important. Instead, it's how the thing or person expresses the nature of God that really matters. And if you're thinking of a creature in that way, it is much harder to think of it as being gross. Someone said a long time ago that God "made every thing beautiful in his time" (Eccl. 3:11).
I know that, for some people, thinking of spiders as beautiful is asking a lot. But you know what? I began to see the intelligence they express in how they make their webs, in the alertness that they need to have to survive, and in the agility that is essential for them to get food.
The more I appreciated these qualities, the more interesting I found spiders. And the spiders that came into my life seemed to exhibit all kinds of intriguing behavior. It really made me want to know more about them. I no longer found them yucky, because I could accept the spiritual fact that they had been made to express God. They had a reason for being in His creation. It became clear to me that they actually show God's intelligence, even if it's in ways that I don't always understand.
This got me to thinking about people as well as spiders. Sometimes there are people who don't act so nice or who look radically different from what you're used to. But when you think of each person as "the highest" idea of God, then it's easier to find something good about him or her. That doesn't mean we'll all necessarily become best friends. But at least we won't be focusing on the strangeness of others or on feeling weird about being with them.
This kind of thinking - some people call it prayer - really does help you get along with people, not just spiders. I once worked in a place where everyone found one man very creepy. None of the workers had much contact with him, but every time someone did, different people would shudder over it. One time when I had to see this man, I really prayed. I simply tried to think of him in a loving way - as being spiritual and precious to God. The result was that I had a good conversation with him and never felt any of the creepiness I'd been told about. And I never felt it when I saw him again either.
When you have that "eeyouuuuu" kind of feeling about someone or something, that's in a way a little like an alarm bell that says you aren't seeing all the good that you could. But if you take the time to stop and value the actual spiritual nature of all creatures, you'll find new appreciation for God's creation, as well as for the specific examples of it that come into your life.
And God made the beast
of the earth after his kind,
and cattle after their kind,
and every thing that
creepeth upon the earth
after his kind: and God
saw that it was good.