TERRIFYING SUMMER DAY

In the summer the grass on the hillside behind our house was long and dry—perfect for hours and hours of fun for the three of us kids. My sister, brother and I found big cardboard pieces to use for sleds. We crossed the street in back of our house, climbed through an open space in the barbed wire fence, hiked up the hill and got ready to go. Each of us grabbed the front end of our cardboard, pulled it up over our feet and down we’d fly all the way to the… bottom. Then we’d do it again and again all day, until mom called us for dinner. One time I was sledding alone.
 
I got tired early so I folded my cardboard and headed home. I carefully lifted up a section of barbed wire and my foot hit a small log in the path. All of a sudden I was being swarmed and stung by yellow jackets. They were all over me—my face, my arms, my head, even stinging me through my socks—and they just kept attacking. Yellow jackets aren’t like regular bees that die once they sting you. Yellow jackets can just keep on stinging. I must have disturbed their nest and they were mad. I managed to get myself out from under the barbed wire and ran to the middle of the street.
 
They followed me and surrounded me and kept stinging me over and over. I could do nothing to stop them. I panicked and froze there right in the middle of the street and screamed at the top of my lungs.
 
My mom came running out of the house and saw immediately what was going on. She grabbed me and quickly got me off the street and into our driveway. She turned the water on and hosed me down. Then she took me, sopping wet, into the house, where she slathered me from head to toe in calamine lotion, finally easing the pain of over a hundred yellow jacket stings.
 
This memory reminds me of the Bible story about the man from the Gadarenes. He was being attacked by a legion of devil spirits. Most sources say a legion can be as many as 6000 in number. The man was lashing out, tearing at himself and scaring everyone, that is, except Jesus. The man wasn’t in his right mind but Jesus had compassion on him and rescued the man. Jesus set him free from the attacks and the people “found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind” (Luke 8:34).
 
My mom rescued me and calmed the stings. Jesus rescued the man and calmed him. The man regained a sane mind rather than the insane one he got while he was being bombarded. Sometimes we act a little insane too when we get bombarded. Let’s follow Jesus’ example and do like it says in 1 Peter 3:8: “Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble” (1 Peter 3:8).
 
Love, Carolyn
This week I have a free download, WINGS: Sample book C. It is 6 true life stories all on different aspects of FAITH. Find it on Amazon under my name.
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