Love Expressed Spider-Style

I have two older sisters, Darla and Donita. I love them both very much. My stylish sister, Darla, taught me how to wear makeup and put on nylons without destroying them (not an easy task). And my adventurous sister, Donita, taught me how to skip rocks and make alfalfa flowers stick out their tongues. My sisters balanced each other out. Darla could cook gourmet meals at the drop of a hat, and Donita could skateboard and throw a baseball like a dream.

Although both of my sisters taught me many things, Donita taught me perhaps one of the most important lessons of all. She taught me the definition of love expressed spider-style. You see, when we were growing up, although Donita was incredibly brave, there was one thing that struck fear into her heart—spiders. Even an itty-bitty spider was enough to scare her to pieces. If Donita saw a spider on the wall—and someone wasn’t around to kill it for her—she would squash it with a wad of Kleenex roughly the size of basketball (anything smaller than a HUGE wad of tissue would risk accidental flesh/arachnid contact causing the earth to fall into the sea).

Being the sweet, angelic, supportive little sister that you know I was, I would take particular glee in pointing out spiders to Donita and then giggling like crazy as she attempted to squash them. I would cheer her on enthusiastically while pointing out helpful details like how creepy the wiggly legs were, and how HUGE the ghastly spider was, and how gooshy the guts were going to be when she finally managed to squish it. It’s funny, but Donita didn’t seem to appreciate my support at all. Regardless, I also enjoyed taking the newspaper out of the box, squealing, and tossing it Donita’s direction while shouting, “Spider!” Since spiders tended to live in our newspaper box, a proclamation like that ALWAYS got a reaction. I took great joy in seeing my brave older sister screeching and jumping sideways to get out of the way. Truthfully, I was a pest…but Donita loved me anyway, and one memorable day, she proved it.

It was a cold, crisp autumn day when Dad told Donita and me that he wanted us to help sort some cattle. Time with Dad was special, so I immediately ran to the garage and took a hooded jacket off a nail. I was zipping the jacket up when Donita came into the garage. When she saw me, she froze. Her eyes became as huge as saucers. Her face turned white. Making a strangled sound in her throat, she lunged at me, grabbed something off my chest, threw it to the floor, and then stomped on it.

I felt shocked. I wasn’t sure what had just happened, but from the look on Donita’s face, it was something awful.

“What’s going on?” I demanded.

Donita didn’t say a word—she just pointed at the floor. A dead spider was curled up on the cement. It was a horrible wolf spider that would’ve been about the size of a half dollar when it was alive.

Donita’s voice shook. “It was crawling up your jacket toward your face. I couldn’t let it stay on you. I just couldn’t!”

Suddenly, I realized that Donita—with all her fear of spiders—had just grabbed a huge spider off my jacket with her bare hands and killed it for me. Donita had shown me an example of true love—and it was one that I never forgot.

Some people think about bunnies and eggs around Easter, but I think about spiders. In fact, I think a lot about Donita and the spider around this time of year. You see, Jesus hated sin just as much as Donita hated spiders. And yet, just like Donita grabbed that spider with her bare hands, Christ dealt with my sin by dying on the cross in my place.

What is the definition of true love? I think true love shows itself when someone is willing to put aside their own comfort and help in spite of the discomfort it brings them. Donita showed me an example of true love when she grabbed that spider, and Christ showed me an example of true love when He died on the cross to save me from my sin. I think true love is selflessness in action—and I think selflessness is the definition of Easter. Love when it is expressed “spider-style” is such a beautiful thing.


Jesus Christ, who, though He was God, did not demand and cling to His rights as God, but laid aside His mighty power and glory, taking the disguise of a slave and becoming like men. And He humbled Himself even further, going to far as actually to die a criminal’s death on a cross.” –Philippians 2:6-8

But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” –Romans 5:8

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” –Romans 8:38-39


16 thoughts on “Love Expressed Spider-Style

    1. Thank you, Ann! I’m so glad that you enjoyed it. It was fun writing about my sisters. I think they are pretty special! I will never forget the way that Donita grabbed that spider. It was amazing! I hope you have a lovely Easter weekend! God bless you always, Danele


    1. Dear Anita, I’m so glad that you enjoyed my article! It was so much fun to write, and I had a BLAST picking out the photos!! I had a wonderful time walking down memory lane. I hope you have a fantastic Easter! Thanks so much for commenting! ❤ 🙂


    1. Dear DiAne, thank you for your lovely comment! I’m glad that you enjoyed my illustration and all of my stories about my family. I hope you have a wonderful Easter too! ❤ Thanks for always being so kind and supportive! I really appreciate you! ❤


    1. Dear Janetta, I’m so glad that you enjoyed my story! Thank you for your lovely comment–it made me smile. I agree that God was with Donita that day. I hope you have a wonderful Easter weekend! Thanks again for commenting!


  1. Janis Putland

    Oh Danelle, another wonderful illustration from your treasure trove of memories and a great way to explain our Saviour’s love for us. My mother told me of the time, when I was a small, sleeping baby and dangling over me was a Red Backed Spider. Without hesitation, she killed that spider too with her bare hands one either side side of it and clapped her hands together. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Janis, I’m so glad that you enjoyed my story. I had so much fun thinking about my sisters and how we grew up together. Thank you for sharing your memory about your mother and the spider. Your mother was incredibly brave! I hope you have a fabulous Easter weekend! Thank you for commenting! 🙂


  2. M.R. J.

    Found your blog today and what a most appropriate story of love to have brought tears and to be blessed, at the same time. Spider- Style love is so needed by so many, as well as for many to forsake their fears and love others. Older I get, I understand more and more, how God created us to be in relationships, in community, to love one another as He loved us. Sadly, I also have been hearing too much of teaching the opposite. Yes, there is no perfection to be found in mankind, but to be less and less in relationships or to be vunerable or to risk, because of margins, boundaries, toxic people, different or difficult people, seems contrary to the uncertainty to the unconditional love Christ lived. As with your lovely family, in your pictures, and how you described your sisters, regardless of your differences, you were in relationship. All the good and the rotten was and is part of being a family. Mention all this, because I have always believed Christ shed his blood, died on the cross, and rose on the third day for ALL humankind. Celebrating Easter has a way of reminding me, Jesus gave His all, for ALL to receive. Thank you for sharing an experience in your life, of relationship, of risking it all for another.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear M.R.J., I’m so glad that you enjoyed my article! Hearing that makes me very happy. I agree that loving others is incredibly important. I am so glad that God gave us an example of unconditional love that we can follow in our lives and in our relationships with others. Thank you so much for commenting! I hope that you have a wonderful Easter!


  3. lelandandbecky

    I’ve missed having time to drop by and read your wonderful insights. Our memories are such treasures, especially when they help us to better understand God’s truths! Thank you for sharing this very touching post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Becky, I’m so glad that you enjoyed my article. I agree that memories are treasures. I feel very blessed to have such lovely memories of my family. I hope you have a wonderful day! Thanks so much for commenting! ❤ 🙂


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