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  • Writer's pictureDeborah

Flies That Fly


Luke 6:35 ESV

You’ll catch more flies with honey than vinegar

I remember hearing that I’d catch more flies with honey than vinegar when I was a wee lass. I WAS a sassy wee lass. Well…was probably isn’t totally accurate. 

What I actually thought when I heard the ole’ saying is that I didn’t want to catch flies anyway. I always thought flies were creepy. I thought all bugs were creepy. 

There was only one time in my life that I didn’t think flies were really creepy. We’d gone to a farm to visit a family from church. My two older boys were with me and two of the young farmers sat outside with us so the boys could play. 

It was a warm summer day and the two grown farm brothers caught a fly and asked if they could have a strand of my hair. I wasn’t sure why, but I gave then a long single strand. 

The farmer fidgeted with it for a minute then when he let go we realized he used the hair to tie to the fly. While he held the other end of the hair, the fly went round and round in circles. 

My two young boys thought that was about the grandest thing they’d ever seen! 

They talked about that fly for weeks. 

Some time later my boys tried to reenact the fly trick but they found out it wasn’t so easy to get it to attach securely. 

I figured that was probably a good thing. My boys were always pretty clever and they were good businessmen even when they were young. I imagine if they could have figured out how to easily attach the fly to the strand of hair they would have collected flies and sold them to the other neighborhood boys and girls. 

Then when word got out that the preachers boys were selling flies in the neighborhood, that might not have sat well with some of the parishioners. 

It wasn’t at all unusual for someone to stop me on the street and ask, “do you know what your boys have been doing?” 

They were (are) very clever and some of the stories made me snicker (but I didn’t dare let on I thought what they did was clever and funny). I actually thought some of the ideas the boys came up with showed signs of two great budding genius’ hard at work. 

Something tells me parishioners would not have agreed.  

More than once when I was told, “do you know what your boys have been doing? I walked away snickering and I told God I forgave the person who just had to let me know what they were up to. In my opinion, most of their ideas showed great merit. They utilized great science and physics techniques and nothing they did was a danger to them or anyone else. 

I was reminded that Luke 6:35 says,  “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.” 

I know that’s a bit of a stretch because the well meaning folks weren’t (for the most part) evil. They just had a different view on the difference between boundaries and creativity. 

Most of the time they wanted me to create a boundary and I ended up heralding the boys for their great creativity.

Then we would laugh and laugh.

I do love a good laugh. 

And did I mention that I’m a wee sassy lass? 

Before you go thinking I was a pushover, I need to tell you that I did have boundaries with the boys. Those usually involved firecrackers and what they could or could not blow up. Well…actually WHERE they could blow it up. I had very strict rules about making a mess on the sidewalk that led up to the front door. 

It was after all a parsonage. 

I did have standards. 

Actually, I am not big on gooey guts on the sidewalk so that’s part of the reason I had standards. 

Well years later, the boys are grown now and they have very clever boys of their own. I remind them on a semi regular basis of their clever escapades when they were young. 

Oh, and did I mention that one of the boys took many many physics clas? And, the other boy specializes in “people” and he’s just pretty good at selling someone on a great idea. 

If they could have figured out how to tie up a fly up they could have sold a million of ‘em.

See…it’s all a matter of perspective. 

In my mind, Luke 6:35 reminds us to love others, do good, and be generous. 

That’s exactly what we tried to do…

Spiritual Practice: Love and do good

Ask God to give you the opportunity to love someone today. Be creative and generous. 

In God, Deborah


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