Elephants, Leopards, Killer Bees, and the Gay Marriage Debate

Horrified,
I ran for my life. Fear gripped me as I listened to my daughter in the distance
ahead of me screaming and crying in terror. How did this happen? This was like
a scene in a bad movie, and yet it was inescapable.
Just
moments before, we were laughing and chatting about our latest find. We were on
safari in the Masaii Mara, admiring God’s handiwork. We had up close visits
with elephants, watched hyenas scoping out the land, and even saw a few wildebeests
in the distance. We were on the hunt for the elusive leopard. Our eyes peered
into the trees searching for any signs of movement, when out of nowhere, we
were attacked.
At
first it was just a couple of bees flying in our open topped matatu. It seemed
like in an instant, we were surrounded by swarming bees. They began stinging me
as I tried desperately to kill them. In the seat in front of me, Jeff was
swatting at them with his hat and stomping them with his feet. I could hear our
friends and our daughter screaming for the driver, “Go!” And yet, we remained.
By now the stings on my face were continuous; the pain was excruciating. The
worst part was I didn’t see an end to the throngs of bees attacking us.
As
the number of bees grew, Jeff began yelling for someone to open the door. He
knew that if we remained in the van, the results could be fatal. Yet leaving
the van was prohibited – there were wild animals outside and we were in leopard
country. As he continued to holler for someone to open the door,  Jorjanne freed us and jumped out. Once we were
out of the van, the situation began to make sense. Our van was stuck with one
tire off of the ground. As the driver pushed the gas pedal, exhaust had flooded
straight into the bee’s hive.
We
began running…the bees followed. Charles, our driver, screamed, “Don’t run far;
there are wild animals that will attack.” He handed me a Masaii blanket and
told me to wave it in the air to scare away any animals. With one hand I
swatted at the bees and with the other I frantically waved the blanket in the
air. We were all screaming as we ran past the other van with our friends
looking at us with horrified expressions. They could not help us. If they
opened the doors, they too, would be attacked.
We
continued to run when another van came to our rescue. At first they thought we
were jumping up in down in celebration. They wondered if someone had gotten
engaged. When they saw me waving the blanket, they realized something was
terribly wrong. There van was enclosed (no open top) and they began yelling for
us to get into their van. As we entered, so did a few bees. Killing the bees
that entered, they began to assess the situation. One of my friends looked at
me and said, “Oh my gosh! You have stingers all in your face.” I began to weep.
One by one, my friend pulled at the stingers. A stranger in the new van offered
us all antihistamines – a gift the nurse later said was timely and saved us
from further complications.  At last we
were safe.
I
am struck by the devotion of the bees to protect the hive at all costs. We
later learned that we had been attacked by African killer bees. They are called
this not because their sting is more poisonous but because of the vast number
of bees that join forces to attack. Once they sting, they will die. They
literally sacrificed their own lives for the sake of the hive.
As
I’ve reflected on what happened, I’ve looked for life lessons. What take away
would God have me to learn from this experience? As Christians, we know who the
real enemy is. Are willing to work together, and do whatever it takes to
protect the Church from his attacks?
Since
the SCOTUS decision on gay marriage, I have been brokenhearted at the response
of Christians on social media. Supporters on both sides have attacked those
with opposing views like much like the killer bees. One person makes a comment
and a hundred more counter, kicking the bee hive.
The
words thrown back and forth between the groups are causing division within the
Church. Regardless of a person’s stance on gay marriage, the person is someone
with dignity that deserves to be treated with respect. I’ve read posts where
people in support of gay marriage call those who are not uneducated bigots, and
I’ve read people against gay marriage tell supporters that they are going to
hell for their beliefs. Arguing an issue is one thing, but casting stones at
people is another. When we think we can belittle others because they see things
differently than we do, we show disrespect.
My
point is that we do our part to stop attacking other Christians who view this
issue differently. Will we do our part to uphold the sanctity of the Church and
come together and pray for our nation during this time of division? If we don’t,
people will continue to be stung, and the results could be disastrous.

*Feel free to
comment on this post, but please exercise restraint from attacking people on
either side of the debate.

One Comment

  1. Thank you friend. Your remarks are very helpful to me as I talk with others about the situation. God does indeed love everyone and wants us to do the same.

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