Moving Bees at Midnight

My relatives are doing strange things at night. The story starts with niece Elspeth, who inherited our ancestral farming gene. She is studying for a doctorate in plant biology and I am convinced she will mutate a tomato plant to develop disease-fighting properties that will save lives.

But what does that have to do with today’s blog title? Well, she and her fiance had to move  beehives from her old home to their newly-rented home. How on earth does one move bees anyway? At midnight, it turns out.  At night, on the coolest day possible, when most of the bees are asleep in the hive. So, Elspeth and Ralph covered the multiple hives with sheets, loaded them in the back of their pickup truck, and took off slowly to drive them across town. So slowly that they piqued the interest of a local police officer who thought they looked suspicious. And while Elspeth tried to explain to the officer who was just doing his job (I mean, what would you think of this midnight sight?), the warmth of the truck started to awaken the bees who started buzzing and flying and generally getting annoyed that their home was being moved. Ultimately the bees and people made it to their destination without too much damage. This was the first odd family story in the last few weeks.

Then, as we embarked on a family vacation to Miami and the Florida Keys, I called cousin Peter who lives on Marathon Key. I knew there was only a slight chance that he and his wife Betsy would be home. It would be great to visit, so I called anyway. Most of the time they are travelling around the world on educational or charitable trips, or helping relatives anywhere in the states. If someone in the family has a serious illness, Peter and Betsy often come to help. If a newly-married young couple moves into an old home, they might come and remodel their kitchen. Retired and without children, they live an admirable life of generosity, creativity and curiosity.

Peter’s return call was warm and friendly. They wouldn’t be home, but we could visit with other family members staying at the Marathon house. Peter and Betsy were in the swamps of Mississippi on an Earthwatch vacation, locating and tagging endangered loons. And yes, they were doing it in the middle of the night.

After my laughter calmed down, I realized that my loony (but lovely) relatives were demonstrating something important. They are living lives that are distinctly theirs — filled with their unique gifts and their ways of using them to help others. There, in the middle of the night — moving bees or tagging loons — they are Christ’s servants. Oh, they wouldn’t think they are, and of course the Lord could find many others if they were not willing. But there they are — part of His plan for our human family and life on this planet and I am in awe of them.  This reminded me of a phrase in Luke 8:3, where the Bible tells us about the women and others who traveled with Christ and provided for him. The story tells us about them “….and many others who provided for Him from their substance.”

It’s clear to me what’s the substance these family members provide– and I can see how they serve Him by helping others. I wonder if we are open to His leading, just where will He lead us? And this thought brings me to a favorite verse, Proverbs 3:6, “In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”  I guess those paths can be moving bees, tagging loons or working at a computer.

With blessings and kind regards to you all.