“Hey Rusty, why is your hand the size of a softball?”
“Let me tell you the story.”
Rusty, a 16 year old boy, was waiting in the cafeteria line. It was a beautiful summer day and half way through a week long camp for teens interested in learning more about loving God and loving others. Rusty felt a tickling against the back of his right hand, like a fly or a mosquito, and pressed his hand firmly against his thigh to kill it.
Lifting his arm, Rusty noticed half of a striped insect sticking out of the back of his hand, the other half smeared on his jeans. One of the reasons Rusty was enjoying the camp so much was because sickness had often kept him from participating in team sports and the camp offered creative, unique “sports” (like getting a slime covered beach ball in the middle of a jello filled tarp away from an opponent) that tended to put everyone on an equal playing field regardless of traditional sport skills. During these periods of sickness Rusty had been warned that he might be allergic to bees and to be alert the first time he was stung. So Rusty promptly left his place in line and ran across the campground to the nurses station.
The nursing student on call looked Rusty’s hand over and gave him a reassuring smile.
“You aren’t allergic. You’re hot and sweaty from your run, and you’ve been pumping your blood all over. The welt looks a little bigger than I would have expected but if you were actually allergic, with that extra exertion you would already have swollen up and died from not being able to breathe.”
Rusty, with his worries eased, jogged back to the cafeteria, got into line and absentmindedly scratched at his back as he waited to get his food. Then he rushed through dinner to be able to have time to get changed into non sweaty cloths before chapel that evening.