About three or four years ago we learned another lesson of life. “What are you doin’ Babe”? I asked in an anxious voice. “I’m saving his life”! she answered thoughtfully. “You’re gonna get stung”! I said, surprised by my little one’s bravery. “No”! – “I’ve saved lots of them”! she added with confidence.
“Okay”! – “Don’t be surprised if that bee stings you”! I added, watching with interest. She scooped the bee out of the pool with just her hands. Sure enough, she rescued another bee. In fact, she went for the better part of a whole summer rescuing bees from the swimming pool.
I’d never seen anything like it; if I would have tried, the first one would have sunk its stinger in me for sure. I’ve been stung by enough bees in my life to know it’s not a pleasant experience.
It was in the late summer and long afternoon when my daughter approached me with heavy tears in her eyes. “What’s wrong Babe”?! I asked. She was trying to fight back the tears and softly said with a quivering voice and lip, with the tone of question and injustice, “He bit me”! – “What bit you “? I asked. She answered through a full cry, “THE BEE BIT ME”!!!
I’d never seen a person handle bees and let them crawl on them like my little one did. “I’m sorry Babe”! I said with sadness, then added, “You knew that was a risk didn’t you”? “Yeah”! – “But I saved his life”! she said through tears, echoing the question and injustice, then added, “It really hurts”! “I know it does Babe,” I answered. I could see she was hurting as much from the heartbreak as she was the bee sting.
The innocence and trust were lost… not just for the day, but for the rest of her life. She had to learn the nature of things on this earth. It didn’t matter how pure her heart was and genuine her intention, it couldn’t change the nature of things in this fallen world.
As much as I didn’t want her to get stung, I knew she was so adamant about her nature she thought could overcome the bee’s. It’s unfortunate for us we live in a fallen world, but that won’t be changing until its due time.
In the meantime, there is pain. Pain on the outside or the inside leaves its mark on our lives. Whether, by an insect, animal, or human, we remember well… “Once bitten twice shy,” sums it up pretty well.
As painful as things can be on the outside, sometimes the biggest “stings” are on the inside. A person doesn’t have to live too long to understand what “getting burned” means. When there is an understanding or expectation that is broken or doesn’t get met, the memory of it lasts far longer, and usually causes more emotional pain than a bite or bee sting.
Trusting in a person who can communicate love or intention burns longer into our lives and is usually carried around like baggage the rest of our lives. To understand the fallen nature of mankind in our lives can help, but it seems too often it turns into straight cynicism that ends up doing as much damage a the betrayal itself.
I don’t think there are any of us who won’t let someone else down in our life in one form or another. While we strive to love like God, our trust is first in Him, not other humans, who like us will disappoint and sting even the ones we love from time to time.
It took some time, but I did see my daughter rescue other bees the next year. She has now gained wisdom the hard way, she uses leaves or sticks to rescue the very things she knows might seek to harm her.
I guess other humans are a bit like those bees. They can be cruel and even deadly, yet God calls us to rescue them…because until they know Him, they don’t know any better. The only way that might happen is us reaching out…
Putting ourselves at risk… even if it means we might get the sting every once in awhile…