My children are outside playing in their inflatable pool and I hear the youngest screaming at the oldest, “Get that WASP!!” And I am forced to wonder why we freak out so much over a little sting? I mean, sure, there are people in which this is a matter of life and death and to them, I’ll say, I get it.
But, my kids are not allergic. An old friend of mine isn’t allergic either and yet I watched her run right off a porch trying to get away from a wasp. Seriously, hands careening like a windmill, screaming, running from this wee-bug, literally right off the porch, forget the stairs.
What is it about pain that is so horrifying we’ll create other forms of it just to get away?
No lie, she was so terrified of the wasp’s sting she nearly broke her leg running right off my front porch years ago. Seems to me that a broken leg is far more traumatizing than a wee-little wasp. Yet, if we are honest, we see people running from pain everyday.
A gentleman I’ve recently met shared with me that he’d come to understand that once we’ve realized something has hurt us, it’s up to us what we do with that. This was in reference to attending his son’s award’s ceremony.
He didn’t really want to go, but having felt as though his parents weren’t there for him at moments like those, he’d purposely chosen to ensure his presence for his son. This is applaudable as he could have said, “I’ve been hurt by awards ceremonies, so I won’t go to any.”
Case in point, I graduated from a college in which Billy Graham spoke at the graduation ceremony. However, my high school graduation was a painful moment in my life and I decided I didn’t really want to hear what Billy Graham had to say about life (living at that time in the midst of rebellion), so I did not go to my own college graduation.
I forfeited the ability to see an impressive man speak simply because of a previous pain I hadn’t faced. I regret that decision today, knowing I will never have another opportunity to hear him share.
What pain have you been running from? And how have you tried to insulate yourself from it? Some of the toughest gals I’ve ever met have been the ones who’ve been hurt the deepest and are still so afraid of that wasp sting they’d rather stare you down than let you in. Trust me, I know.
Of course, not all the pains in life are as insignificant as a mere bug problem. I know this one well too.
In an effort not to be abused again I’ve often kept people far off in the distance. Seems to me that wasps only sting when they get in close, and people are a lot like that too. Stay away from them and they get less opportunity to hurt ya.
But, we all know that’s not true.
People are far more adept at pain-induction than a simple-minded wasp. They’ll hurt you from other continents if that’s the kind of people they are.
So, if we know that, then why keep up the charade?
Why keep hiding behind the barriers and running off porches?
At some time in life we’ll simply have to face the fact that stings happen, burns happen, heart break happens, regret happens, and so does abuse. But it’s up to us what we do with that thing that hurts us. You can’t kill these wasps and you probably shouldn’t do everything you can to numb the pain, after all, life hurts more than a wasp sting.
Maybe, if you’re thinking straight, you might discover that even the most heinous of pains/abuses/betrayals/stings happen for a reason. I’ve got this friend–who’s always shocked to see herself in my pieces–who thinks that these are some great verses and I’d have to agree with her:
“3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” –Romans 5:3-5
Feature Image by: Matt Quinn (Unsplash)