A little bug drives home an important message


I am an incurable proofreader. Not always perfect, but always checking to see if letters and punctuation marks are in their proper places - and that pronunciation of spoken words is correct.

Throughout my long and checkered career, I have been a proofreader for Xerox research, pilot manuals at North American Aviation, vocational education research reports at a federally funded council, numerous church newsletters, and - unofficially - speakers wherever I happen to be.

So, during a church service, when I heard a word read that was not the word in the hymnal, but something similar to it, naturally my proofreading apparatus started sending up red flares.

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But then something strange happened. It was as though I heard a little voice inside. It said, "You are straining at gnats and swallowing camels." This, of course, is a no-no. One should ignore tiny mistakes and focus on the total inspired reading.

The congregation began to sing, and I began to adjust my attitude and give this more thought.

At that very minute - and I'm not making this up - a real gnat flitted down upon the page of the hymnal my husband was holding for us.

This audacious little gnat then marched to the top of the page - and flew away! I'm not sure whether or not the gnat gave me a reproving look, but I got the message.

Perhaps the small insect had a bigger message for all of us: to remember to focus on the incredible number of good and compassionate deeds happening in the world - not just the bad.

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