Since last November, when I was privileged to travel and speak twice in Thailand, my heart has been stirred about one thing: spiritual unity. Through a series of very fortunate events, I was compelled to begin working on a book project on this very subject. While preparing for a women’s event in Rock Hill, SC, whose theme was, “BEE ALL YOU CAN BEE IN CHRIST,” I launched on a journey into the world of bees for some light-hearted inspiration. My habit of late-night research led to a phenomenal discovery—the waggle dance of the scout bee. Awestruck by this bee’s captivating choreography, she had my full attention. Her unbelievable performance was hard to believe. No way. Bees don’t dance. They sting. This can’t be real. But, after googling “waggle dance” and watching video after video clip, there was no doubt that this was a real dance that takes place in the real world of honeybees.
My heightened curiosity waylaid any need for sleep and prodded a deeper investigation.
After finding the rich source of nectar, the scout bee flies back to the entrance of the hive, where all the other scout bees wait in anticipation for her news. First, she lets them taste the nectar. Then, she takes center stage and positions herself to perform the waggle. With great precision, it begins. Using oversimplified terminology, because I am not an entomologist but an intrigued woman, let me try to paint a picture of this grand production. Here we go. Lights. Camera. Action. On the count of four, let the dance begin:
A semi-circle to the right. A semi-circle to the left. A waggle down the middle. Then, while on the straight run down the center, the scout positions her body to point to the exact degree the source is from the sun. The fiercer the waggle, the better the source. The longer the waggle, the farther the source.
Go ahead, try the waggle dance for yourself. Nobody is watching!
Buzzing in my ear, the still small voice of God whispered, “Look at this. Read about this. There is a very important principle about unity expressed in this dance.” My initial interest peaked due to spending years in a dance studio preparing choreography for yearly recitals.
The dancer in me had to know more. The choreographer needed to examine each and every little detail of this dance. As a choreographer, timing, precision, and position, are critical elements to the crafting of movement. Meaning lies behind movement. How had this delicate dance in the bee world escaped me? Who knew bees could dance! Never in a million years would I have expected such choreography in bees. Its design is an incredible feat of an even more incredible God. Alas, my unexpected late-night discovery led to a crazed up close and personal investigation into the interior of the hive. Hence, my love affair with Apis Mellifera, the honeybee, began. Determined to translate this incredible “bee language” into tangible truths applicable to everyday living, days turned into nights which turned back into days.
A few days later, while sharing my newfound teaching on unity at Calvary Baptist Church in Rock Hill, South Carolina, women caught an incredible case of “waggle fever.” It just so happened that the next day, this fine church was welcoming a new pastor and his family into the life of their church. The atmosphere of expectation was electric as women grasped this truth: when women gather in unity, i.e., put off unhealthy communication patterns, receive the rich source of nectar which is God’s Word, and “buzz” back to their hives (communities, neighborhoods, families, workplaces, small groups, athletic organizations, school committees), they are ready to dance just like the scout bee. As a result, lives will be changed and the kingdom of God advanced.
The waggle itself embodies the enthusiasm of God and the exciting potential awaiting those who unite as a team, where every member understands the greater goal of putting community before self. Athletic teams understand this principle. Corporations understand this principle. And, bees understand it best of all. Why, then, do we, as both women and members of the body of Christ, find unity so difficult to obtain? In simplest terms, why can’t we get along?
To be continued…….