Honey Bees

Honey Bees sting but they use those stingers to pollinate beautiful flowers and make sweet honey. It’s easy to forget the positives when a bee is swarming over your head on a muggy summer afternoon. Yesterday, as I was picking flowers in my yard, I was aware of several bees nestled into the beautiful blooms. Believe me, I had no need to wait around for the infamous sting of these buzzing beauties.

Molly, our middle daughter, was four years old when she encountered her first bee sting. One summer afternoon I returned from a trip to Washington, DC, to find her lying on the couch with a swollen face and eyes that were completely shut. I hardly recognized her except for her signature big bow in her hair. She had been at a friend’s house when she was stung by a bee. Dad had been called at work and heeded the instructions of the doctor to rush her to the emergency room. No one knew she was allergic to bees. This incident began the routine of taking the EpiPen to camps, on vacations and anywhere else that she might not be able to reach a doctor. To say the least she has always had a healthy fear of bees. Molly was relieved when her little son got bitten this summer and did not have the same reaction.

Bees, stings, and honey have me thinking. At times I struggle with the stings and hurts of life. Some stings bring back good memories and others are hurtful stings of past memories and people. Where do I go with them in my mind? Two extremes can go from blowing everyone off and saying, “I don’t care”, to internalizing the stings and becoming depressed. I was stumped on how to handle the “stings”, but found help by King Solomon this week.

“Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” Proverbs 16:24

These words are a good reminder for all relationships. Gracious and pleasant words are like honey to anyone who hears. For some reason I had not always seen how I needed to apply these gracious words in my own mind. I knew I should give them to others, but often forgot that I needed them myself.

Recently I had an unexpected encounter with someone I had first known as a student years before. He shared encouraging and wonderful reports of mutual friends, families, children, careers and full lives. It was a sting because I miss these friends he sees regularly. I was a bit sad. This verse from Proverbs popped into my mind and I started recounting all the wonderful experiences and times I had with these people. In other words, I began thanking the Lord instead of bemoaning what I was not able to experience at the moment. It became sweet memories and was healing to my mind and spirit. It became a good sting.

Gracious words to myself can be healing when there are hurtful or negative stings by others. It is easy to experience a dead end in my mind and ask where do I go with my thoughts? When I become thankful, expressing gracious words, for that experience or person and for their positive contributions to my life I see healing taking place for me. The negative sting in my life transforms to healing.

Gracious and pleasant words will change my life whether I am the giver or the receiver. I can give myself these gifts of gracious words when I feel the stings of life. They also remind me of the double effect of the buzzing, stinging and sometimes hurtful bee which also provides me with beautiful flowers and sweet, delicious honey.



2 thoughts on “Honey Bees

  1. So true, Lindy! I’m reading a book with 5 young women here in Brussels. “The Gifts of Imperfection” The author talks about ‘self-compassion’ – very much along the lines of what you wrote. I think we all need more of that! Love you, sweet friend.

  2. Great reminder. Thank you, Lindy. I was also seeing that reminder in Phillipians as I was reading this morning.
    Looking forward to learning more in the coming weeks.😊

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