The other day, I was stung by a bee while doing dishes … inside. Honestly, after my first yelp of surprise, my predominant feeling was empathy. The poor bee had accidentally flown into our home looking for pollen-heavy blossoms. Instead, he met my daughter who was immediately focused on his destruction. However, her intention was more vehement than her fly-swatting skills, and he ended up half dead in the kitchen trash. What had happened? His world was suddenly tossed upside down, and he was bludgeoned by unknown forces. The poor bee dragged his mangled dignity out of the sticky eggshells and crumpled marker drawings and stung the first tangible threat he sensed – me.
As the COVID-19 virus has swept through our nation, it’s easy to feel hurt, defensive, trapped and scared. Like the bee, I, ashamedly, have been too quick to sting the first person I see with impatient words, overly sensitive reactions and demands for a level of personal space to process it all that is just impractical in a family of seven. When our circumstances change suddenly, our unconquered fears and sinful tendencies are thrown into sharp relief.
1 John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” As odd as it may sound, the virtue of hospitality is a particular form of charity that we can use to counteract the anxiety, resentment and claustrophobia that many of us are feeling during quarantine.