photo courtesy of believable.files.wordpress.com
I know, I know ……… you’re going to find it hard to believe that I could actually remember a story from when I was three years old. But not only do I remember it, I remember it with very clear details. The mind is an amazing thing.
As a preface to this story, let me say that I mean no disrespect to the African American community. This is simply the way I remember it.
When I was three, we lived in the small town of Holly Hill, South Carolina. My father’s work kept him away from home a good bit, so my mom was home alone with us four kids. My little brother would have been an infant at the time. It only made sense that my parents would hire a part-time house worker to take some of the load off of my mother. Her name was Lula; she reminded me every bit of the actress Hattie McDaniel.
photo courtesy of bobbyriverstv.blogspot
The few memories that I have of Lula are good ones. She was a kind woman who worked hard and I am certain that we children gave her plenty of grief during her years in our employ.
One of the other things I remember about our time in South Carolina, is that the back yard was full of clover. In the spring, we would look for four-leaf clover and lay in the yard looking at the clouds in the sky. When the clover was in bloom, it attracted honey bees. One day, we decided it would be fun to catch some bees in glass jars. Lula helped us round up some jars from the kitchen to take outside.
It was a simple trick to catching the bees: wait for a bee to land on a flower, drop the jar on top open side down, give it a little shake to make the bee fly to the top, then slip the lid on from underneath. We had been at this game for some time when I decided I was ready to go inside.
When Lula saw that I had brought my jar with the bee inside she warned me, “Don’t you let that bee outa that jar, you hear me?”
I paid little attention as I began to open the jar.
“Ooooo …William…. don’t you open that jar in this house! That bee gonna stang you!” she warned again.
I opened the jar and the bee began to fly around the kitchen.
“Ooo …….I done told you, you better let that bee alone, he gonna stang you for shore!”
The bee flew over to a window where it landed. I pushed a wooden chair over to the window and climbed up to get closer.
“Ooooo, Honey, you ain’t listenin’ to me! That there bee is gonna stang you and it gonna hurt when he does!”
I raised my index finger to the bee and he crawled onto the tip. I turned around with a saucy voice and said, “Uh, uh! He won’t sting me; he’s my friend! See!” I held my finger up for her to see it.
It was at that precise moment that the bee let me have it with his stinger. I remember looking down in disbelief watching the stinger pulsating in my finger.
Lula was a very merciful woman. I don’t remember her saying one cross thing; she just found something to ease the pain and held me while I cried ……….. The poor bee probably got swatted …………
1 Corinthians 15:55-57 (NIV)
55 “Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”
56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
God has not just removed the stinger from my finger, he removed it from my heart. The power of sin and death was defeated when Jesus was raised from the dead; there is therefore no more fear of death.
Mugs up! Here’s to a new day, a new life, and a celebration that there is no longer any sting of death!
All verse quotes courtesy of biblegateway.com