On bees and refugees

Whilst enjoying a nice sit down, a cup of tea and a browse on Facebook I saw a post about bees! It declared, “If a swarm of bees come into your garden, DO NOT BE AFRAID! They are just homeless travellers, looking for a new place to set up a hive.” I remembered the time a swarm gathered in the eaves outside my new born baby’s bedroom; all I could think about was getting rid of them. I didn’t understand them, didn’t know where they came from and was fearful of what harm they could do. I rang around, asking for advice and everyone had a different opinion about what I should do. Well, I ended up calling Mr Buzz – The bee guy.  For the short period of time he was visiting he explained so much about bees, how many crops they pollinate, how they are peaceful and only get agitated if they feel threatened or are disturbed, what issues they are facing as a species and what would happen to our planet if they died out.  After he left, I felt like some kind of bee advocate; ready to champion their cause!

A few swipes later I saw another post about some teenagers who had attacked a refugee who had come to England to escape the troubles in Syria.  They had actually stamped on him! Why would they do such a thing? Was it ignorance, fear or lack of compassion? Perhaps they just wanted to be rid of “the problem.” The next day I saw a harrowing documentary on the refugee crisis.  It showed the boats coming into Greece, packed to the hilt, literally overflowing with scared people; mums, dads, sons and daughters, risking their lives and that of their children to escape conflict; to be safe, to find a better future, just looking for a new place to set up home.  It reminded me of the bees, or rather my response to them!

I felt an enormous sense of helplessness, sadness and frustration about both the bees and the refugees. For you it might be something different that breaks your heart; persecution, trafficking, even plastic!  They are such huge problems, world problems, so what difference could I make?

Well, after a bit of research and a good pray, I looked into ways I could help in a practical way!   So, now I repost any info that I find (after checking its validity) and when opportunities come up, I talk to people about it. For the bees I make sure I leave a wild flower area in my garden, put saucers of sugar water out, help them when they’re stuck inside and buy local honey. I also found that there are lots of ways to support refugees. Look for charities like Elpitha Hope, Refugee Action, British Red Cross and UNICEF and help financially, or by collecting and donating goods such as blankets and coats or maybe by volunteering time.

Back to those teenagers! Educating children about social issues is vital and we shouldn’t shy away from letting them see what’s going on in the world. Praying together as a family and leading by example with our attitudes, words and deeds is essential. Children shouldn’t be hearing, “I wish they would go back to where they came from, it’s not our problem and why are they letting them in?” It is my hope that we can raise the next generation who’ll say, “What can I do to help?”

Maybe the next time you see some bees, think about the refugees or whatever issue He has placed on your heart and ask, Lord guide me and show me what do to help?

He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. Deuteronomy 10:18 (NIV)bees

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