Honey For Tea? – Look, See, Pray

Heavenly sweetness… Bees were working incessantly in my lavender today, savouring the scent and flavour of nectar that will, by summer’s end, have been transmuted into honey that just might end up on your tea table! Probably not this buff-tailed bumble bee’s labours- but the honey bees that came to the free buffet worked just as hard. Just not as good at posing as this bumbly lass.

Honey has been sought after throughout history – God promised His chosen people a “land flowing with milk and honey” – and Humanity learned how to “farm” the bees to secure the sweet luxury. It’s become a token of affection, a sign of blessing, and has medicinal uses, but mostly it’s DELICIOUS. Here’s a verse from the Book of Proverbs to think on:

“Kind words are like honey— sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.” Proverbs 16 v24 NLT

This week I’ve been talking to several people who have pain and sorrow through no fault of their own. My part has been to show kindness and encourage through compassionate words and practical love. This has been a privilege- and become a shared burden as I entered into their life and challenging circumstances.

I think that, in a way, this is like the relationship of prayer: as we pour out our hurts and needs, God takes on our burden. God’s words of comfort, so beautifully expressed in the scriptures, come out of Divine loving-kindness. These words truly are sweet and health-giving; and when we share kind words we too are restorers of hope and wholeness, which brings a moment of thankfulness into sore hearts.

Human existence is lived out in a complicated world. Poets through the ages have been interpreters of our dilemma: we owe them thanks for expressing thoughts we may have struggled to put into words. Here’s part of a famous poem by Rupert Brooke to enjoy and consider.

"Say, is there Beauty yet to find?
And Certainty? and Quiet kind?
Deep meadows yet, for to forget
The lies, and truths, and pain?… oh! yet
Stands the Church clock at ten to three?
And is there honey still for tea?”
― Rupert Brooke, The Old Vicarage, Grantchester 

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