One morning this week I woke up grateful to be alive and healthy. But, as you probably are too, I was preoccupied with the concerns for the safety and welfare of my family, friends, and all people affected by the coronavirus. As I was pondering such heavy thoughts of the Pandemic, I sat at the breakfast table next to a large window in my home to eat my usual breakfast.
Soon, Dorothy sat next to me. She placed the bowls of oatmeal and blueberries on the table. As Dorothy and I were discussing our worries and plans for the day, I looked up. The Texas orchid tree outside our window was full of white blossoms which cascaded from the top of the tree down to its lowest branches near the ground. Looking more closely at such a beautiful sight, I noticed an army of honeybees were diving headfirst into the blossoms with great enthusiasm and purpose.
There were two kinds of honeybees. One small. The other large. Though different, they were all doing the same thing. Instinctively, all of the honeybees were looking for something beautiful. The orchid blossoms. All of the honeybees were searching for something sweet. The nectar inside the blossoms. All of the honeybees had a common purpose. To take the nectar they harvested back to the hive. To share it with their community of other bees in the hive. To provide nourishment to young and old bees alike and even to the unborn, the little bees which would one day emerge from larvae. The little ones who would soon exit the hive and do what their parents did before them. To search for beauty. To taste something sweet. To share nourishment with all the others in the hive
My tasty bowl of oatmeal and blueberries was soon consumed. As I looked down to the emptied bowl of oatmeal, my mind, body, and soul were filled with the wonders of this moment of honeybees and Texas orchid blossoms. In nature doesn’t God place before us unexpected glimpses of grace and love? In moments as this, we are suddenly overcome with the profundity of sacredness in the ordinary. Something as ordinary as looking out the window at breakfast. To see a small miracle God has placed before me. Unexpected. Full of connectedness with God, with nature, and others.
But, the story about the honeybees and the Texas orchid tree did not end with the bowl being left empty. For we know that from the hive comes the honey for us to taste. Then, there is the beeswax from which candles are made. Candles which light the world with God’s love. In churches. In synagogues. In other places of worship. In our homes on special occasions. . Candles lit for others in prayer. Prayers said in the darkness illumined by Holy light.
There are many quotes in Scripture about honey. One which I think is most relevant here is:
Proverbs 24:13 Eat honey, my son, for it is good; honey from the comb is sweet to your taste.
Although this proverb invites sons to eat honey and to consume what is sweet to the taste, I know that honey, like God’s love, is good for women and daughters too. For everyone. All of God’s children.
God, I thank you for the honeybees and the orchid trees. For when I looked down at my empty bowl I was full of recognition that I’d witnessed what I so much needed to see that morning and every day. For it is in the very nature of every child You have created to yearn for, search for, and share with others something beautiful, something sweet, and something to nurture body and feed the soul. Your love which is the sweetest, most beautiful, and nurturing thing on Earth and in Heaven.
God, every day please guide each of us to find sacredness in the ordinary things You place before every one of us. In finding, sharing, and consuming the love we discover in such moments, may we all be nearer to You and to one another.
God, may we all look outside of ourselves and through the windows of our lives and see and find all of the unexpected messengers and messages from You. Even those messengers of honeybees found in orchid blossoms and the messages of Your love they carry with their wings outside my window. Amen.
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Jack H. Emmott is a Senior Counsel of Gray, Reed & McGraw, LLP, a 145-lawyer full-service firm in Houston, Dallas, and Waco, Texas, a Board-Certified Family Law and Master Credentialed Collaborative Law Professional Divorce Attorney, Mediator, Author, Entrepreneur and Inspirational Speaker. For more information about Jack or his latest book, Bending Angels: Living Messengers of God’s Love, go to the Bending Angel website.