Last evening, Sweet Husband, Amazing Daughter #2, and I went searching for cicadas. We have been reading about the every seventeen-year invasion and wanted to hear them. Thankfully, cicadas have not invaded our little corner of the world, so we headed East to see what friends are talking about. We found them! The noise was so loud we could hear it in the car with the ac on and the windows up. They were flying above and around trees, covering tree trunks, wooden fences, and their shells were all over the ground.
Amazing Daughter told us how she stepped on a shell, while with friends earlier in the week, and the crunch made her shiver. These bugs are God’s creatures, but they seem nasty, to me, and make a mess.
I was curious to learn more, so I picked up my phone to see what I could discover about these mysterious creatures.
Did you know:
> Cicadas are winged insects that lay dormant for years at a time, then all wake up together with one purpose… breed and die.
> Cicada eggs hatch in only about 6 weeks after being laid by an adult female, and the adults themselves only live 4-6 weeks before dying. However, the cicada nymphs can live underground eating roots and preparing for the day that they rise to the surface, for 13-17 years.
> The female of the species is completely silent; it is the male cicadas making all the noise.
> Some species of cicada can make sounds that reach up to 120 decibels which is equivalent to a loud rock concert.
> There are benefits of cicadas:
Cicadas are a great food source for any insectivorous animal.
They help prune mature trees of their growth.
Aerate the soil when the nymphs burrow underground.
Their bodies serve as a source of nitrogen for the trees.
If you are interested in learning more, check out https://wildlifeinformer.com/facts-about-cicadas/
As I was reading about cicadas last evening, I came across a statement on https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/22362042/cicada-brood-x-map-2021 that I can’t seem to get out of my mind this morning.
“There are so many cicadas all at once, predators (such as birds and small mammals) cannot make a meaningful dent in their numbers.”
What we saw last evening certainly vouches for that statement. Cicadas were everywhere! It was as if they were unified in their mission to blanket their corner of the world and they were not shy about it. They seemed to be peacefully sharing trees, grass and fences. I witnessed no cicadas fighting for a favorite place on the tree trunk or chasing other cicadas as they flew around the trees. Is that unity?
According to Dictionary.com, unity is:
“Oneness of mind, feeling, etc., as among a number of persons; concord, harmony, or agreement.”
Psalm 133:1 tells us:
“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity.”
“Live in harmony with one another.”
This morning, my mind keeps thinking about what might happen if we could all stick together and live in unity as the cicadas appear to live and as the Bible tells us to live.
Jesus even tells us that the greatest commandment, after loving Him with all your heart, is to love one another.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
We live in a messy, nasty world but if we do our best to love others as Jesus told us to love, remember that God made each person, and respect those that we may not even like, what could we accomplish?
The cicadas are messy and nasty, just like the world in which we are living, but there are so many of them they have pretty much taken over parts of sixteen states.
Could we, as followers of Jesus, love so much and do all we can to live in unity with our brothers and sisters that we have an undeniable impact on our culture? I think we could.
Anyone willing to give it a try, with me?