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God speaks through a wasp

I sat on this random pew in the hallway near the receptionist’s office at the Jesuit Spirituality Center. I was here on a women’s day retreat with my mother and aunt. The first lecture talked about acceptance and how to cultivate happiness. I had just finished my first week of teaching curriculum and some of the presenter’s questions were really hitting home.

Do I let other people take away my happiness? Because I think happiness comes from outside situations based on my own agenda? Do I react with anger based on my own  fear and insecurity?

Hmmmm. When I yelled at my kids this week because they weren’t paying attention, was it really because I was scared shitless that I would not be able to teach them the material?


So after the first presentation, we were instructed to walk throughout the campus grounds silently. No talking to Mom or Carla. I walked to the cafeteria to get a cup of coffee then I strolled through the library. Out of all of the literature there, I was attracted to “Living Catholic, the Catechism.” For 10 years I have studies almost every other religion except for the one I lived the first 18 years of my life. Based upon my current set of situations, now more than ever I felt I had to explore this religion through a matured pair of eyes.

I carried the book to that pew. I read through the first few chapters, when suddenly I heard this loud buzzing sound. I looked up to the front door, which was surrounded by large, uncovered windows, to see see a huge yellow jacket wasp flying repeatedly into the window. I thought it was on the outside of the window and was just a distraction from the moment, so I started to read again.

A few sentences later and the buzzing seemed to get louder and louder–demanding my attention. So I started to watch the wasp and realized he was actually on the inside of the window and he was trying to escape I watched him jump from pane to pane. Scratching. Buzzing. Trying to escape.

I felt I could do something to help out this little fellow. I got up and opened the door. I thought maybe he would feel the breeze and follow the wind to his escape. But he just kept flying into the glass.

Other retreaters were entering the door I was holding open-they just thought I was being nice. I was just patiently waiting to see if the wasp would get my gesture. He didn’t.

I went back to my pew while the wasp stayed in the same place. It made me wonder, how often when I wanted to escape was God holding the door open and I refused to follow the breeze? How often did I just bang myself against the glass? Like the wasp, maybe I just wasn’t ready for the escape at the moment.

I walked back to the retreat room with the sound of the buzzing in my ear. He may not be ready for the wind, but I think I’m ready for the current.


3 thoughts on “God speaks through a wasp”

  1. Elise..What a beautiful reflection. Think maybe that buzzing could have been God trying to get your attention? It’s something to ponder..

    Just a little bit of advise. Kids learn by doing and not just by listening. Remember to save your voice..a long hard look with no words at all is an excellent classroom management skill.

    Good luck in helping children to succeed.

  2. Thank you Aunt Linda! I know that it was God trying to get my attention. He uses all kinds of things to get my attention. haha. Especially nature!

    That retreat yesterday helped to feel like myself again. I have reflected my first week and now know what does not work for me. Because I don’t want to go insane, I will change the things that did not work. I am about to figure out what groups to put the kids in to give them more hands-on work. And yes, I will SAVE MY VOICE! Thank you so much for your support!!!!

  3. i thought for sure this was a reflection on the wasp sting Jon sustained while working on the Faith Works Chapel… I mean Jon was literally and physically close to God way up on top of that ladder. Perhaps Jon’s wasp was a test of how to keep on going even if you do get stung a few times in life. I very much enjoyed this insight although I can’t help but to wonder if the wasp you let free from the retreat center was the same one that got Jon. I will say it was a new life experience for Jon and for me (I’ve never seen a 7 foot man come down the top of a ladder so fast!). I may make a bumper sticker for Jon saying, “God’s other angels are wasps.” Boy would that be some kind of political incorrectedness. Much love from down the road.

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