Honey bees and sacrificial love

The Saturday before Easter is that time during holy week where we often find ourselves in a sort of hopeful expectation. With Good Friday behind us we are left with the weekend to reflect upon the sacrifice of Christ. I was doing just that as I was making chapatis for lunch and bread for the next day. There are a myriad of blessings to having many years behind you where you are aware of the Easter story but at times the rhythm of the season makes my heart less aware of the sacrificial love given to us by Christ. As I was kneading dough I was crying out to God to give me a greater depth of understanding of His sacrifice. The depth of His love.

We had our teammates over for lunch. It was the middle of a very hot day (around 108 F) and so we moved the chairs under a the closest tree to take advantage of the shade. After we finished eating we were enjoying munching on Karkaday (a tea leaf) for dessert when suddenly Josh (who is four) started screaming. We realized, in horror, that the he had been playing right under the beehive one tree over (right next to our home) and had aggravated the bees. I must stop here to explain that bees here are aggressive. If you get stung by one the whole hive comes out in force to protect. We all scattered. Josh’s parents, Eli and Bethany, were frantically trying to outrun the bees and dislodge them from under Josh’s shirt. We scooped up our four and headed inside (along with about five angry bees. J– swiftly isolated the bees to one room and eliminated them while we stayed in another. As we were hovering inside wondering what to  do next and watching angry bees swirl around  J– decided to venture outside when a firm voice said, “they are still angry wait inside” It was Andrew one of our Sudanese neighbors. As we watched he pulled up a chair and sat under the hive. He allowed the bees to sting him on his head to get out their anger while we watched safe inside.

As we watched I was literally overcome with his sacrifice. He sat there willingly being stung so we could be safe inside. He took the consequence of the bees anger so we didn’t have to (though we deserved it for provoking them). He had done nothing wrong but he sat there calmly as they stung him so we would not be harmed (although the validity of this South Sudanese belief we may question it doesn’t take away from the gift of his action). As I contemplated Andrew’s sacrifice I was overcome by how much greater a sacrifice has been given to us through Christ. He willingly gave of Himself so we would not face the consequence of our actions. He willingly sat under the bee hive so we wouldn’t have to. But he gave up more then enduring some stings, He gave His life, willingly, for us.

Josh had seven bee stings, and his parents had a few as well, but he is a brave four year old. Our whole family is “bee sting free” from the incident, and Andrew walked away with stings on his head assuring us he would return that night to take care of the problem. That evening most of the men gathered and they proceeded to get rid of the hive. Andrew came to rinse off the stingers on His arms when he was done on our back porch.

Burning near the hive to "tame" the bees
Burning near the hive to “tame” the bees
inside the hive
inside the hive
Removing the honey comb from the tree
Removing the honey comb from the tree
Easter weekend-24
Reaching into the hive
They waxy honeycomb
They waxy honeycomb
Fresh honey from the bee hive. Delicious!
Fresh honey from the bee hive. Delicious!

How “sweet” it is to be living in community where sacrificial love is shown, where we can look outside our window and say, I know God better because of him.

We pray this Easter finds you reflecting on the greatest sacrifice of all, and rejoicing that He is risen and has sacrificed for His glory and our joy.

We seek to empower our children, our teammates and our Sudanese friends to love and know more of who God is through acts of loving service and biblical teaching.

10 thoughts on “Honey bees and sacrificial love

  • 31 March, 2013 at 6:32 am
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    Your awareness of God’s presence in your life and the tangible display of God’s truth shared in this story is a miracle also and cause for praising God. The creator of the universe continues to participate in His creation, restoring it as He planned. Have a blessed and restful Resurrection Day celebration with family and friends. We miss you all.
    Love, Mom

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  • 31 March, 2013 at 3:05 pm
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    Thank you for sharing this, amazing story.

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  • 1 April, 2013 at 3:03 am
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    What a wonderful story of sacrifice on our most important sacrificial weekend of the year.

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  • 1 April, 2013 at 7:19 am
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    Wow – I’ve been praying along similar lines to understand the depth of Jesus’ love for me. This beautiful story brought tears to my eyes. You will never forget this picture! Thanks for sharing (and for all the cooking I hear you’ve been doing in the last few days!) xxx

    Reply
  • 1 April, 2013 at 2:42 pm
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    Amie….what an incredible picture of sacrificial love. It is always a delight to my heart to get to read all that God is showing and teaching you, as well as how he is using your family to minister to other. hugz to you all.

    Reply
  • 2 April, 2013 at 8:22 am
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    Overwhelmed. Just reading ‘Passion’ by McKinley and your account earths the Gospel account in everyday reality…beautifully written and our tears are from a deeper insight into all Jesus has done for us. Thank you.

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  • 2 April, 2013 at 4:15 pm
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    Beautiful. And powerful. Thank you for sharing this picture.

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  • 4 April, 2013 at 4:38 am
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    What a sweet amazing story! Is it ok to share with a few friends?

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    • 4 April, 2013 at 10:35 am
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      Please feel free Jenny 🙂

      Reply
  • 7 April, 2013 at 5:45 pm
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    I love to hear your stories Amie. I too am overwhelmed when I ask the Lord for understanding and he is so faithful to provide a profound teaching. It just makes my heart swell to hear these things as Jesus becomes so much more to me through it all. I truly cherish these things in my heart as I know you do too. Blessings!

    Reply

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