Just outside the door to the church, on the sheltered wall of a small portico, a small family of bees began to construct their nest - not on the stuccoed cement wall as one might expect, but on top of a poster which is securely taped to the wall.
If this happened outside of your church door or on the porch of your home, what would you do? I probably would have spritzed the little mud daubs with a bit of vinegar (thus ruining the poster) or perhaps would have pulled the poster off of the wall to discourage the bees from building in that spot (thus ruining the poster). After all, no one wishes to have bees buzzing about near a well-used entry way. Right?
Daniel never considered impeding the work of the bees. Instead, each Sunday morning before worship he snaps a few photos to capture the progress of the construction project. As he has observed the progress, Daniel noticed something quite remarkable.
The poster on which the bees are building their home is the theme poster for the Salvadoran Lutheran Church for this year. It depicts people coming together around a table, holding hands and overshadowed by the dove of peace. The slogan, "Dialog leads to Reconciliation and Peace," describes the commitment of the church to work to transform hearts and communities filled with violence in to hearts and communities built on peace, The bees chose the center of the dove's body on which to begin their work with mud and spit. Bit by bit, their home has been growing, and as it has grown it has taken on the form of the dove's body.
"The Holy Spirit is here," says Daniel. "The bees feel a sense of protection in this place, and so do we. This is something mysterious. Something like a small miracle."
We watched the bees flying to and from the nest as they did their work, building their home. Bees were created to be bees, to pollinate, to build homes, to reproduce, to defend themselves if threatened. These bees were respected, not feared. For Daniel, and for the community, these bees are a sign from God, that dialog and respect for life will bring peace.