Bzz. . . Bz. Bzzzz. I was parking. The buzzing had to be my cell phone, but it didn’t sound right – not rhythmic, not measured. Car parked, I checked my phone. No calls. No messages. Bzzzz. Bz. Ah! Something more traditional: a bee! I thought of Paul: Bee, where is thy sting? I didn’t want to know.
I got out of the car, reminded the bee that it was “born free,” and suggested that, like Simeon, it depart in peace. And as if bidden by Francis of Assisi himself, the bee exited without incident.
What did I learn from this? Well, I, for one, can’t tell the difference between one kind of buzzing and another. I, for one, have become so immersed in technology’s beeps and blips and such a foreigner to the sounds of God’s creatures that when I hear a bee, I expect a text!
That is not the only sign of my alienation from creation. But it’s one thing not to be able to tell roadkill from a tire on the freeway at 200 feet; it’s another when I can’t tell a cell phone from a bee at 20 inches.
I kept thinking. I realized (again) that I, for one, am more attuned to the sounds of society than the sounds or the silence of God. I am not only alienated from God’s creatures. I am alienated from my Creator. That’s a different kind of sting from the one I thought the bee might deliver.
I often bemoan our collective daily spiritual alienation. I am often aware of the ways our culture offers us a daily dull-wittedness while our faith calls us to be mindful, awake, alert, and therefore alive! But I don’t always personalize the abstraction.
A bee sting hurts, but my numb, desensitized dull-wittedness stings worse. Thank you, Bee, and not only for not stinging me. You reawakened me to my need to re-tune my ears, my eyes, my faith, and my lifestyle to become more attentive to creatures, creation, and our Creator.