Picking Nightcrawlers

“And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water . . . shall in no wise lose his reward.”  Matthew 10:42

We had a delightful rain this afternoon.  Rain in the summer brings back so many memories.  One of those memories involves nightcrawlers.  There are worms; then there are nightcrawlers.  My grandfather and I used to dig for earthworms to use for bait on our evening fishing expeditions on the family farm lake.  We never went to a bait shop. The worms we dug are commonly called angleworms in my part of the country.

I suppose fishing worms is an industry all in itself.  There was a bait shop in a nearby town, however, who liked to buy nightcrawlers from kids as a way to teach them some independent industry.  My son, who already had a paper route, decided to add nightcrawlers to his money making enterprise.  Dave is not a loner, so after a nice rain, like we had today, it was easy to pick up three or four dozen nightcrawlers for the bait shop.

There is a certain skill to this job and most of it involves opportunity.  One has to be quiet, and the grab has to be just right or they slip right back into the hole from which they came.  Once in a while we could get the sisters to come out with a flashlight and spot them for us but never pick one up!

Opportunities are sometimes lying right in the open but our grasp is wrong.  The big fat bait slips right back into its hiding place.  One cannot give up.  That is just the time to get determined!  Opportunities to serve God lie around us every day.  One need not look far.  If a person is housebound—hey, use the telephone to call someone and invite that person over for coffee and a chat. Better yet, invite yourself over and take a treat. Use the computer to encourage folks.  If you are out and about, use the time to give out a gospel tract.  Help a struggling mother get her groceries to the car or allow her to slip in the line ahead of you.

I started a list for you now and I bet you can add ten or fifteen opportunities to it.  Like picking night crawlers, one just has to get out and do it.

Jesus suggested a cup of cold water. How difficult can that be?


P.S.  These heavy dew nights make me wonder–are they out there, those big, fat, long fishing worms?  I bet they are but I don’t go fishing anymore.




  1. Glenda

    Lots of memories here, too! We called the “regular” worms redworms, becuse that’s what they were, red worms! They still love to get washed up from the ground onto the pavement during a heavy rainfall. My dad wasn’t interested in the night crawlers, because there was no place for us to sell them and he thought they didn’t make good bait for the fish he wanted to catch. As you have learned, when we have a bit of limited mobility, for whatever reason, we can still find ways to encourage others by having a Godly, cheerful attitude when we make posts on Facebook, by baking a batch of brownies or a special pie or cake for someone, or just being quick with a sincere compliment and a smile when someone needs a faith-lift. Thank you for this reminder today! You always have something worthwhile to say, and I appreciate each blog post! 🙂

  2. That’s a memory I don’t regret not having 🙂 My most vivid memory of worms is when a couple of the big, fat bait thingers climbed inside my rain boots, unbeknownst to me. They died in there. I don’t know if I crushed them. I hope not. The stink was horrendous. Gah.

    • They do smell pretty bad. We stored our nightcrawlers in the refrigerator before taking them to the bait shop and once in a while one would die. NOT a good memory.

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