…about bugs. This past weekend, when it warmed up, the to-that-point-unknown yellow-jacket hives on the exterior corners of my apartment building burst open, and all of the half-baked, not-quite-awake yellow-jackets went about their business… into my apartment. I saw two on the screen inside one of my kitchen windows, and I freaked out a little bit. Flying stinging insects are not my cup of tea. I can handle spiders. I’m so good at killing snakes that they warn their children of Reverend Shovelhands. Roaches bother me, but I can steel myself if necessary. Flying, stinging insects, though—no thank you. Despite my preferences against them, over the next two hours, I smushed and disposed of around two dozen of them. They weren’t very with it, which made it easier on me—I could get two, three swats with a house slipper on one before it thought to fly—but having to face it was not all right with me.
When maintenance arrived, the worker, Elias, saw the evidence of my burgeoning career in extermination, laughed, and said, “Let’s get the rest.” He found the nests outside, and with no problem started spraying out the nests, knocking out the dying (but not dead) nests with a broom, cutting out the hives he could reach, and staying in the general presence of these nasty, gigantic, flying stinging insects. I asked him why he was so calm. “They don’t bother me,” he said. I was very thankful for Elias. And for the bug spray.
In the reading from Galatians this week, Paul tells the members of that church to “Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” (Gal. 6:2) We all have shortcomings, we all have issues, we all have fears. But the good news in it is this: there is someone in our church who can help you. On the flip side—you have strengths, you have gifts, you have talents: there is someone in the church you can share them with. You might think sniper-like marksmanship with a can of bug spray isn’t an important gift—but trust me, it is. We bear each other’s burdens, and thus we do what Christ commands us.
This Sunday, we continue the sermon series And You Give Yourself Away—I hope to see you then. I also hope you will make it out for the Pet Blessing service at 4 p.m. Sunday—there will be plenty of treats for bipeds and quadrupeds alike.