There I was, innocently fulfilling my volunteer responsibility, pulling some long-neglected tall weeds at our neighborhood pond . . .

. . . when something stung me right behind the left armpit!

Ouch! Why hadn’t I changed out of my pickleball shirt? My shoulders and neck were all exposed!

Just then, the same something, or his little buzzing friend, stung me on the tender skin of my inner forearm, and then another little buzzer got stuck under my FitBit bracelet and stung me over and over on the wrist . . .

. . . and THEN a whole ‘NOTHER little buzzer got me good and deep, right on the upper knee / lower thigh. . . .

Ouch! Double ouch! Finally, I saw at the base of the tall weeds that I had been disturbing a colony of yellowjackets, and they were buzzing around angrily, so they, in turn, were taking turns disturbing ME!

Yikes! Yowsa! Yiminy! Sound effect: bongo drums. I ran away fast!

The spots were red, hot and itchy. Cortisone cream didn’t help much. We were due to leave for a dinner date at a restaurant, our first such outing since mid-March. No stings were going to keep me from that!

So when it came time to order a festive beverage before the meal, what came to mind? Of course! A “stinger”! That’s a cocktail with cognac and crème de menthe. I had two of them – and was feeling no pain. Ha! But of course El Magnifico was driving that night, so it was all good.

Later, it struck me that if I hadn’t neglected those weeds all summer, they never would have grown so tall as to seem like a good place for the wasps to make their home in the ground. My own darn fault they did!

And I realized that those sudden, hard stings that left welts and were itchy for days were a lot like when someone sins against you. Someone gets their “stinger” into you with a mean remark or insult, or takes your stuff, or lies about you, and your heart stays “red and itchy” for a long time after the sinful words or actions vanish into thin air.

The moral of the story is: don’t neglect stuff you’re supposed to do, or bad consequences may come back, not to bite you, but sting you!

And remember that all kinds of sins leave emotional welts. Though Jesus is our perfect heavenly cortisone cream for the soul, hurting still hurts. So don’t make yourself too vulnerable to getting stung by sin, or stinging yourself, for that matter. Finally, do what you need to, to feel better – and always have a designated driver!


O death, where is thy sting?
O grave, where is thy victory?
The sting of death is sin;
and the strength of sin is the law.
But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory
through our Lord Jesus Christ.

–1 Corinthians 15:55-57

By Susan Darst Williams • 8/12/2020 • • © 2020