I have a friend who loves bees.
Last week she brought me to her secret place, a trail in a wooded area in a local park. Located on the trail is my friend’s bee tree.
My friend comes to this secret place often. She said she goes there to talk to God, since how can you help but talk to him surrounded by all that nature?
“Just look up at the canopy of trees!” she said as we walked.
She told me about the raccoon that startled her and that she spooked away and that someone had said there’s a bobcat out there. (I asked her if bobcats eat people, and she laughed and said they do.)
She told me about seeing a little old lady walk the trail all hunched over with her eyes on the ground. She said she’s tempted to tell her to look up, to see the beauty above her.
When we got to my friend’s bee tree, she practically squealed. She’s been telling me about her bee tree for months.
When we had that super cold spell a few weeks ago, she worried that maybe the bees froze. She had come there the day before to check on them and discovered they were, indeed, OK.
We stopped in front of her bee tree and my friend pointed way up at the hole in the trunk and told me to watch. The bees weren’t too active, she said, but at least they were alive.
We tilted our heads backwards and watched the bees for a while.
“I love bees,” my friend said.
Truthfully, I’ve never loved bees. But I’ve loved lizards on the sidewalk. I’ve loved dawn and dusk, ocean waves and the scent of jasmine and hamsters with their cheeks bulging with food.
At the Florida Aquarium there’s a creature with a face like a seahorse but a body like a green, leafy plant. I’ve loved that creature, although maybe not as much as my friend loves bees and loves her bee tree.
Last year my friend talked about maybe becoming a beekeeper. I told her I once wrote a story about local beekeepers and saw real honeycomb and its perfectly shaped hexagonal compartments.
How people can look at a honeycomb or a leafy sea creature at the Florida Aquarium and not believe in a Creator God is beyond my comprehension.
After experiencing my friend’s love of her bees and her bee tree, I did some research on bees. Did you know that these little insects are quite the aerodynamic miracle? Apparently, with their short wings and squat bodies, they’re supposedly too fat to fly, yet they do.
That shouldn’t surprise anyone. God has a way of making things that shouldn’t happen actually happen. Jesus said faith the size of a mustard seed could move a mountain. He makes the blind see and the lame walk and the fearful conquer a mighty opposing army.
Maybe that’s why my friend loves bees. Maybe she sees miracle potential in them.
Another thing I learned about bees is that they die if they don’t look up. If you drop one in a drinking glass and leave it uncovered, it will fly around trying to get out but never look up to the opening.
Consequently, it will spend all its energy trying to find a way out through the sides or the bottom of the glass until it eventually dies. Dumb bees.
People can be like that, too. We get trapped and knock ourselves out trying to escape circumstances by our own efforts and some people even die trying and never escape.
Those who look up, however, find a way out.
Maybe bees don’t know to look up. Maybe their necks are too fat to tilt their heads. I don’t think it’s a pride or a stubbornness thing with bees like it is with people. But I do know that God tells people to look up to him, to seek him, to call upon him and be rescued.
“Our eyes look to the Lord until he has mercy on us,” wrote the psalmist. “Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us.”
Don’t let us be dumb like bees, but fly like bees when circumstances say we can’t.
Nancy Kennedy is the author of “Move Over, Victoria - I Know the Real Secret,” “Girl on a Swing,” and her latest book, “Lipstick Grace.” She can be reached at 352-564-2927, Monday through Thursday, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.