Every year, after the summer months of crazy camp schedules, our family takes some down time. We go camping! (Makes sense, right?) Oh, we go to a state or national forest, away from our own camp, phone calls and messages. We just spend time being together, playing games, hiking, biking, fishing, and whatever else is available where we stay. We make lots of memories and it is something that the kids look forward to, year after year.
Near the end of our time away, we spent an afternoon down by the lake. The park had canoes stored by the shore, and the kids found tree frogs. They were picking them up all over, holding four in their hands at once, like a froggy bouquet. I noticed Melody (almost 3) was working her way up the shore, and our 8 year old son, Corban, was fast on her heals. He is such a guardian, and since she escaped the house last September, he has made it his goal to know where she is at all times. I heard a scream and then some crying, and I figured he had determined that she needed to come back to the group against her will. As I headed toward the noise, I caught sight of them and noticed that they were both crying.
She had stumbled upon a nest of biting ground wasps and there were also bees attacking them. He would pick her up, wrapping his arms around her to guard her trunk, and then he would run a few steps until she became heavy and his arms were stinging too badly to stand. Then he would set her down, pick her up more tightly and run again, all the while crying.
I ran. My husband ran. Our daughter Rebecca reached them first. She pulled Melody up out of the swarm and, cradling her, she ran away from the shore, Corban on her heals.
We pulled the wasps off, removed the stingers, and got back to the camper where we gave them what homeopathy, ice, plantain paste and “After-bite” ointment we had. The two of them were surrounded by concerned siblings, and Dad administered the first aid while I admittedly stayed out of the way and prayed. The camper is pretty crowded.
The pain hit them in waves. They would be okay for a minute, and then they would cry again. And then in the middle of it all, Corban stopped and sniffled, slowly saying, “I wish I could have taken all the stings so that Melody would not have had any.” And my mama heart just broke. It broke from the sweetness of how blessed we are that our children love each other so much. But it also broke because I recognized Jesus in my son. I could hear Him, telling our heavenly Father, “I’ll take all their sin so that they won’t have any.”
"Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends." John 15:13
"'O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?' 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Corinthians 15:55-57