When I was very young I dropped down onto a grassy embankment with a friend and leaned back only to place my hand on top of a bee, who must have been enjoying his lunch or was frantically gathering food for his queen. Whatever the reason, from his perspective, this was an invasion and he promptly thrust his mighty defense stinger into my flesh as a warning . I discovered immediately that I was highly allergic to bee toxin, as a burning sensation enveloped my hand and swelling persisted despite ice and other home remedies until I looked like I was wearing Mickey Mouse’s glove.
To this day I cannot encounter any buzzing without this memory swimming to my frontal lobe; however, I use it as a reminder to take caution not as a means to relive the drama and pain. Sometimes in relationships, I can accidentally hurt or frighten someone and they have the same response. Hurting people tend to hurt others but if we can remember to take a step back before reacting with anger or discouragement perhaps some painful experiences can be avoided. Or, maybe, we can overcome some interaction hurdles that often appear too large or difficult from our perspective.
I tell my grandchildren to practice “random kindness” with each other because, doubtless, one will somehow slight the other one and forgiveness is a term that we see as weakness so it is thrust aside for vengeance or justice, depending on your point of view. But, in reality, forgiveness is the only means to release yourself from the hold of anger and bitterness. I no longer HATE bees but I still respect their ability to cause me great pain and use caution when dealing with them.
…18If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. 19Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord. 20“BUT IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM, AND IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS ON HIS HEAD.”…