The Praying Mantis messenger

What does a praying mantis have to do with a new job?

I was barely out of college. My journalism degree helped me land a part-time office job with the publisher of a Texas restaurant guide.

The hours were flexible, and I could continue my prayer time schedule of 8 a.m. Mass, then prayer until 9. The publication folded in less than a year.

Then came the God-incidence. I worked as a volunteer one weekend in the pressroom of a large Catholic conference. The manager of the pressroom was the editor of the diocesan newspaper. He was looking for a copyeditor. The job would bring some opportunities to write stories, interview people and get published with a byline.

After a short interview in his office the next week, he hired me. Then he smiled and teased, “Can you type?” He became my mentor.

First day of my dream job

On my first morning of this exciting dream job, I got up early to iron an outfit I determined would make a good first impression on the staff.But the iron was too hot and scorched the blouse. Later, I was thankful because that definitely was not the right outfit.

I scurried around getting dressed in a more casual suit and took off for the Chancery office across town.  The stoplight a mile into my new journey was red — for a long time. As I waited for my turn, a praying mantis landed on my windshield wiper. It stayed there  looking at me through the windshield as I stared back.

Prayer time messenger

Then I checked my watch. It was 8:00. Prayer time. I thought to myself, “This praying mantis is really out of his element. Okay, Lord, you sent me a silent messenger to remind me that I need to get my prayer time with you back on my schedule.”

He sent the praying mantis, Mantis religiosa, as a humorous reminder of our prayer time together, which I neglected that morning. Prompted by the praying mantis, I soon found the chapel at the Chancery, making it my quiet place for prayer.

If we are unfaithful he remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself. (2 Timothy 2:13)

What kind of humorous or unusual reminders has the Lord sent you?

Nancy Ward

Nancy Ward

Nancy Ward, a convert, journalist, author, speaker and blogger, shares about conversion, Catholicism and Christian community at, several websites and magazines. She loves to share her faith story and help others share theirs. Her "Sharing Your Faith Story Seminar" is available on DVD. She’s on the board of Catholic Writers Guild, facilitating a critique group and the D/FW Catholic Writers. She contributed to The Catholic Mom Prayer Companion.

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