... in a bee sting
The lavender bushes in the garden are in full bloom now so that the bees are taking full advantage of the sunshine to feed on the profusion of nectar they produce. Last evening as I put the waste bin out for collection in the morning one of those bees stung me on the hand. I understand why, of course. He was afraid of this large shape that intruded into his space.
Fear is a natural and a very powerful emotion which affects us all in some way or another, whether it is the fear of flying, or fear of spiders, or maybe the consequences of illness or indeed of dying. And then there is the fear, real or imagined of other people. Basically, I suppose, it is fear of the unknown which of course is what the bee felt. And that got me thinking. How do I react to the large numbers of refugees making the hazardous journey across the Mediterranean crowded into unseaworthy vessels seeking a better life in Europe? They speak a different language, have different cultural practices, perhaps a different ethnicity and are, well, different in some way. I do not understand them. Does that fear of the unknown lead me to reject them or can I put aside my fears and accept them? I do not have all the answers but sometimes the word compassion trips lightly off the tongue but putting it into action is a different matter. Then Jesus’ words came to mind: "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even those who do not believe love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even those who do not believe do that." Luke 6:32-33(NIV)
Not easy advice to follow but then I remembered: “I sought the Lord’s help; he answered me and set me free from all my fears Psalm 34:4 (NIV). With God’s help then, you and I can overcome our fears and accept the unknown.