Tell the Bees

It all started long ago with a sentence of encouragement, “you were born to write." I was moving away and my teacher wrote me a "goodbye" note. I don't remember most of what she said in the letter; I only remember this one phrase "you were born to write." That phrase has haunted me. 

There is another phrase that haunts me. It was spoken years after I received the first. I was 12 years old and sitting at my grandfather's, who was a beekeeper, funeral when the question was uttered, “Who will tell the bees?" I don't remember what words proceeded the question - I only remember the question. 

And it was upon later reflecting on that question, as a 12-year-old girl, that I realized the beautiful, horrible reality. There is actually an old legend about "telling the bees." You can read about it if you wish and perhaps that was to what the speaker was alluding. But I didn't know anything about that legend. Instead, I thought about the innocence of the bees, continuing to do their work but with the absence of their keeper. I wondered if they missed their keeper. And I thought about my own life. As a collective, children's sweet naivety cannot last forever and there is a time when we are told about or learn of the hurt of the world (or we are hurt and broken ourselves). As much as our keepers try to protect us (if they are well-intended), there comes a time when even they must slowly, gently, and carefully expose us to the truth that this world is incomparably broken. 

For some people, this is where the story ends. The world is chaotic and there is no peace, period. However, as a people of faith, we know a greater truth – that we have hope in the dawn. That despite the bad news, “your keeper is gone,” we hold to a hope that there is a greater, truer keeper - the Keeper of our souls. 

Bees have haunted me for 20 years. They have been in my thoughts and visions, and about a year ago I realized that this is God-given. I think I have a story to tell, or stories to tell, about brokenness and hope. I want to tell stories of loss, of financial hardship, of hard living, and of the bittersweetness of marriage and parenting and even friendship. We like to turn our ears and hearts away from this – the brokenness of it all — but we can dive into it if we know the real story. The real story is one of losing AND finding, of brokenness AND redemption, and of the bitter AND the sweet.

So this is a blog about “telling the bees." This is a space where we discuss, gently and carefully, the hard things and then remind each other of the hope we have. We can bear the weight and fight the fight because He loves us and it doesn’t matter what side of eternity we are on – He is our Keeper.

Two phrases. Each written or spoken into my life in a hard season: a move and a death. Two phrases that were planted deep into my soul, watered for years, and are just now beginning to spout and take root. Through the written word, I am here to tell the bees.