However, I know it was a bee-sting because it swelled up like crazy, kept me from sleeping and hurt enough to be distracting until this morning. In case you think I'm a total wimp, let me tell you that I'm allergic to bee-stings, and rediscovered that these last couple of days. I think it's been 30+ years since I was last stung and am now hoping it's another 30 until it happens again. My kids and Beve have all been stung over the years and none of them react, so I had to call my sister, whose husband has the same allergy I have, to ask what to do to stop the swelling, when, last night, I was still ballooning up.
So I've been really, really distracted in these last couple of days, which is crazy because I live with pain all the time. And I'm used to it. But a tiny insect pushes venom into my neck and I'm over the edge into "I CAN'T HANDLE THIS!!!"
Interesting, the word venom. The idea that bee stings, like rattlesnake bites, inject venom into us. And some of us are more sensitive to bee venom than others of us. But venom is dangerous. It hurts. Whether it's a simple, momentary sting or a deadly bite, venom is our enemy.
You know where I'm going with this, right? Venom in our conversations, our attitudes, our actions and reactions--all are just as dangerous, as stinging or even deadly as the venom of insects or snakes. And we're aware of this when we're the ones who are being stung, of course. Most of us are very aware of the venom of others toward us. But it's our own venomous words and actions that are our responsibility. I think of how easy it is to tease someone about something that really isn't funny, is too sharp to keep from cutting to the bone. And when I think about it now, it's really venomous, because it stops communication on a dime--on a sting--and often creates two different kinds of reactions: A one-up-manship in similar kinds of teasing, which becomes bickering pretty quickly; or defensiveness. I've been on both sides of such venomous teasing. I've been guilty of sometimes saying things that cut someone deeply, and pretending I was merely teasing, I confess. When I consider it as venom, it adjusts something in me. To sting someone, to be the agent of venom pouring into them--what a terrible thing to consider.
What a anti-gospel thing, really. The exact opposite of what we're to do and be to others. The gospel, John tells us in his epistle, can be reduced to "...they who do not love do not know God because God IS love." It's just that simple.
So a few weeks ago, I mentioned that I was going to give away a quilt on the 5th anniversary of my blog. That date was Sunday, and, as you can tell, I didn't even write. So here's the deal. I'm going to open the blog lines between now and next Tuesday, April 9 (and will mention this every day!!!), so if you're interested in a chance to get a home-made quilt (by me!), make a comment. You can comment every day, if you'd like. I'll announce next Wednesday, April 10, who has won.
Good luck and God speed.