Tuesday, February 12, 2008


I’ve encountered lots of distractions while preaching. Sometimes a baby cries, someone coughs, people move about. I’ve seen people jump up because a drink spilled. While we were meeting in a garage on wildlife preserve, we had geese walk through our worship gathering.

But a couple of Sundays ago, I experienced a new one. I was talking about kindness, as part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit. In the middle of my message, people suddenly tried to tell me something. “There’s a bee!” OK. I brushed my hands through my hair, thinking that the critter must be around my head. “No, it’s on your hand!” I looked down and saw the wasp on my right hand. About that time I felt the sting. I brushed him off and he landed nearby on the floor.

Naturally I stepped over to the bug, planning to squash him. But then I remembered that I was preaching on kindness. Hmm. Not a good object lesson.

So, I allowed the wasp to live, although it already looked nearly dead. I continued with my message, trying not to miss a beat.

But God moved some people to action. They seized upon the occasion to show kindness. Someone gave me a sterile wipe for my wound. Another produced a cold pack. I finished speaking while holding the dressing on my hand.

After our worship time, I learned that someone had put the wasp out of his misery. Didn’t make me sad.

Now, everyone watches carefully for all the flying creatures. You never know when they might get you. Just when you thought we had enough distractions…