For the first time in my life, I got stung by a bee. You know how it is in the movies, when everything around you suddenly moves in slow motion, while your eyes widen and your jaw drops, as you clearly see something approaching you? Well, it happened to me when I was in Bohol Bee Farm.
I didn’t have time to process what was happening because it happened in five seconds. Out of the hundreds of bees flying in front of me, one crazy bee decided to end its life by flying towards my face and stinging my forehead. (Yes, unfortunately, bees die immediately after they sting someone.)
My friend, Zee, tried to keep me calm as our tour guide attempted to remove the stinger stuck on my forehead. I remember freezing and saying “oh my gosh! Aaaaahhhh!! Help. Help. Help.” after I felt my blood rush towards my face. “Is this deadly? What should I do? Am I going to be okay? May wedding pa akong pupuntahan bukas! :O”
I started to panic as I continued to feel the pain for the next 30 minutes. Thankfully, it happened at the last stop of our tour at the bee farm. So, at least, I didn’t have to endure going through the tour with an aching forehead.
But, I honestly struggled during that time because even though I was clearly experiencing pain and discomfort, the tour guide who was assisting Zee and I took it lightly. He even continued to joke about it and said that he normally gets stung by a bee, so I shouldn’t worry or make a big deal out of it.
During the early parts of the tour, our guide joked about him wanting either of us to get stung by a bee. It might have been a funny introduction to the tour, but when it did happen, it wasn’t funny anymore.
The small wound on my forehead was starting to get sore and the skin near it was red. I tried to tell our guide that I really wasn’t feeling comfortable and I felt that I needed to drink medicine, such as a painkiller or anti-histamine drug. I even suggested putting ice on my inflamed skin. But, he continued to laugh about it and tell me not to do anything with it and just let it fade away.
When I heard him say those words, I immediately called my mom, who is a dermatologist. She advised me to apply virgin coconut oil since it helps heal inflamed skin or to drink an anti-histamine medicine. To make the long story short, I eventually bought medicine from the souvenir shop in the farm and as soon as possible, Zee and I left the place and headed to our next destination.
During the car ride, we still couldn’t believe it happened. It may seem like a simple concern, but, it was my first time to experience it, so it really was nerve-racking for me. However, the experience taught me a few things:
1. Getting stung by a bee is still better than getting stung by a lot of bees at the same time. After doing much research, the venom injected by a one bee wouldn’t have major negative effects on one’s body unless one is allergic to bees/bee stings. It will just sting and become sore for a few hours.
2. When faced with troubles, I shouldn’t hesitate to ask for help. When the bee stung my forehead, I wouldn’t know how to remove it from me. But because I asked for help, the tour guide assisted me by removing the bee. Also, when I was doubtful of the advice given to me, I called my mom to double check and seek help again.
3. There are moments in our lives where we encounter people we don’t always agree with. Sometimes, we even meet difficult people. But, how we respond to them matters most. In my case, I struggled with being joyful towards our tour guide because of how he made fun of the situation instead of showing sincere concern for me, his customer. However, I was humbled by the Lord that day as I prayed and remembered the importance of keeping calm and not initiating “war” against our guide.
Our guide might have missed out on providing excellent customer service that day, but it didn’t give me any right or privilege to be an entitled, arrogant, and demanding customer. By God’s grace, I went out of the place thanking God for the crazy and memorable experience. (By the way, I tried sending my feedback to their Facebook page, but they haven’t replied to me yet.)
A month after the incident, I saw three bees hanging around a flower in Bangkok. Surprisngly, I didn’t feel any kind of trauma. Instead, I immediately remembered getting stung by a bee and how it taught me about humility.
We can never put God in a box. He reveals himself to us and teaches us important lessons even through the most random and painful experiences. It just boils down to our hearts and how we choose to respond every time it happens.
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is Godʼs will for you in Christ Jesus.” -1 Thessalonians 5:16-18