The end of summer always brings about an invasion of flying, stinging, yellowish bugs to our deck - WASPS! Whenever we go outside to enjoy nature, we have to dodge these little kamikazes, resuscitated from the past. It makes even simply stepping out on the deck an act full of hidden dangers.

My wife was the first one to feel the impact of those suicidal maniacs this year. She was in the process of hanging some laundry outside to dry. While trying to get those gooey-looking, dripping-wet clothing over the line, she accidentally stepped onto "forbidden" ground. You can't really blame them for their actions. After all, they probably thought that their kingdom was under attack by strange-looking space crafts! Nevertheless, she was stung four times for her "crime". Though she courageously finished hanging the remaining "goo" (at least, that's how it must have appeared to the wasps!), as soon as she was finished, she quickly retreated to safe haven inside our home.

"I've been attacked!" She reported angrily.

We put our heads together to discuss our plan to stop this threat from spreading. A volunteer was chosen (why is it ALWAYS me????) And the next morning, when the wasps would be more lethargic, I set about carrying out the "plan". Wrapped with the heaviest clothes I could tolerate (it was 25 degrees C. already this early!), including my professional plastic boots, and, naturally, my secret insecticide spray, I carefully stepped onto the deck. I noticed two places (nests) where those kamikazes had congregated their vicious planes and I sprayed and sprayed and sprayed.

The nest under our picnic table was the most vicious one. More and more warriors appeared from nowhere and were bombarded mercilessly by the vicious substance from my canister. After about 5 minutes I had to stop. I was completely covered by a misty kind of spray, and I was starting to feel dizzy. I did find myself victoriously surrounded by my defeated foe, but somehow it didn't bring me any satisfaction.

As I went upstairs for the shower (I didn't want to asphyxiate our pet birds with my misty cover!), I couldn't help but ask myself: "Why can't we live together in peace?" I mean, I didn't really mind sharing my deck with them, but if they were going to aggressively attack my family, something had to be done!

Then I realized that we, as humans, don't necessarily live together in peace, either. Neighbors argue with each other, officemates talk behind backs, even church members tend to become cliquish, unwelcoming anyone sociably unacceptable in their midst. Although we may not spray a vicious killer spray on other humans, our attitude and actions often kill any initiative towards peaceful cohabitation.

Jesus wisely said: "You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.' But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment." (Matt 5:21-22 NIV) We can be murderers through our attitude towards others. Judgmentalism, racism and unforgiveness leads to the attitude that we are better than others and those around us do not deserve our compassion.

Jesus encountered that same attitude in His days: "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men-robbers, evildoers, adulterers-or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.' But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.' I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." (Luke 18:10-14 NIV)

That kind of attitude kills! So many people hunger to be loved, to be appreciated, to have someone care for them. By hindering them from being our friends, we are sending them on their way to a pretty bleak future. Is this why Jesus emphasized on several occasions that we should love one another? "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." (John 13:34-35 NIV)

Only by loving unconditionally will others know what Christianity is about. Do people know that you are one of Jesus' disciples?

Look out! Another kamikaze!

Rob Chaffart 

http://www.answers2Prayer.org