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Peace With A Sword

July 22, 2017 Leave a comment

rue8 Good morning and welcome to all of you, this family of Sisters and Brothers in Christ. Greetings!

I had to think long and hard about today’s scripture and where to go with it. A few years back I had the opportunity to sit for a while and talk to a Quaker, or one of the “Friends” as they like to be called. It was a casual conversation and an open and trusting dialog developed as the two of us became more comfortable and at ease with each other. As it were, I was not yet ordained at the time but I was going through the education and discernment process, I still had much to learn. Our talk eventually turned to current events and politics. He knew that I had spent 20 years in the military and was retired from the Air Force but was puzzled at why with a military background, I was now coming to terms with a call to ordination I had had as a young boy.

He asked how I justified the two careers, each of them being on different ends of the spectrum involving peace. When it comes to military actions, we know that Quakers are conscientious objectors and are to do no harm to anyone. They truly are a peaceful group and if you ever have the opportunity to attend one of their meetings, I’ll be interested to know your perception of what you think happens during the time they spend together on Sundays. After explaining my intentions for joining the Air Force, and getting a nod of understanding from him it was my turn to ask a question. So I asked him, “Who do Quakers say Jesus is, and why is your service, or meeting, set up the way it is?” He knew I lived for the Liturgy of the Word and the Holy Eucharist so his response was quick and put me on the defensive from what I was hearing. He said, “I can’t speak for all of them, but for me personally, Jesus is all about peace. He came to show us how to be peaceful. Do all Quakers think this way? Probably not and I’m not speaking for them. As for your Christian sects I don’t understand your services. You seem to have all kind of rituals that don’t lead to much of anything. We sit in prayer and meditation and wait for the Holy Spirit to give us any messages we might need for today or the future. It’s all about meditating in a group.”

I’ll not comment on the meditation part. But my friend here really shocked me. I knew, as I said, they were peace-full, but I figured perhaps he might go deep and a little more in-depth theology might emerge. Surprisingly, he didn’t mention anything about Jesus coming as the Messiah, or the Holy Trinity or Holy Eucharist, or even prayer for that matter. His affirmation was simple. You were just to be peaceful. He insisted that Jesus was simply about peace. He came to bring peace. Period. Knowing this portion of scripture, today’s Gospel we just read, I was ready to get into a discussion and question him on what discipleship meant. Something said “Pete, let it be” no need to make things confrontational at this point in the discussion. Perhaps another time when we’d gotten to know each other better we could talk about Scripture and disciples, but this seemed to be sufficient for the time being.

This didn’t stop me from continuing to think of Jesus and Peace and the cost of discipleship during a long drive home afterwards. If it were that easy, to live in peace with no challenges from anywhere or anybody on this earth, then why are there so many wars? Or not only wars? Why are there so many arguments and fights and altercations where people are left with both physical and emotional scars? “I leave you peace, my peace I give you?” Or “I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.”? Of all things to bring besides peace, he comes with a sword. Just as swiftly as a sword can slice through flesh and even bone, Jesus’s words here slice through our thoughts and sever any notions we had about him from the other words of peace and love we hear him speak of; Love. Peace. Servanthood. No matter how you cut it, his words we hear now don’t go down easily.

It was this exchange that helped carve out my own views on what it meant to be a disciple of Christ. You see, when Jesus gives us this lesson it is with the intent of making us uncomfortable. One of my favorite musicals of all times, The Fiddler on the Roof, points out how uncomfortable things can be for someone who is used to living in a world where nothing changes and then everything seems to cave in on him! It would be as hard for these new converts and followers of Jesus to change their ways than it was for the father, Tevye, to give up his traditions! If we are to become disciples of Jesus we must have the will to give up some of the ways we’ve been used to doing them. If we are to be students of the Good News, we must be prepared to spread that news and tell everyone we can about it. If we are to fit into this life and what it takes to live into our baptismal covenant we must have the fortitude to forget what we’ve been taught by others and stand with our new sisters and brothers. We will need to walk a walk that is much different than that of our fathers and mothers, or sisters and brothers.

That is what I think is meant by Jesus when he says he’s come with a sword. He will make the cuts that separate the talkers from the doers. Our calling is not only to affirm that Jesus is our Lord and Savior; but to make the change that shows that in the world. It’s an easy thing to do, once you convince yourself that you are not held to the old standards of the letter of the law. The spirit of the law now lives in us and we are beyond a meaningless gesture of giving lip service to one deserving of our service to others in his name. Those who follow the master and the teacher will find their peace at some point. The journey and the road that takes them there will make all the difference in the world as to when that peace comes. And when we think we’re near the end and we look back, we may find we’ve been living in that peace all along. All because we paid the cost of discipleship through making the right cuts from the beginning.

A Healthy Spirit

December 17, 2013 Leave a comment

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We often hear of someone who is a good spirit. On occasion we’ve heard people described as mean spirited. We hear of people seeing spirits walking around. We have spiritual growth committees, we describe ourselves as being on spiritual journeys, and some of us even have spiritual directors. The “spirit” can be holy, tired, lively, poor or untamed. With all of these and numerous other ways we tie the spirit into our daily lives and conversations, it makes me stop and wonder where our concept of what spirit is comes from.
When I personally think of the spirit my mind imagines the spirit as it was portrayed in the baptism of Jesus and at Pentecost; “in the image of a dove.” Yet I believe that being a part of God’s creation means I carry within me a portion of that Holy Spirit of God. We all do. And that Spirit can be displayed to others or it can be repressed by us depending on how we choose to work with it. Yet there is more. Consider how we pray. When I pray or am thinking about my actions and attitudes what I pray for is a healthy spirit. A healthy spirit means that we are taking care of our souls while genuinely caring for the souls of others. It means we have taken the time for daily scheduled prayer or meditation or hopefully both. It means the things we read, watch, and listen to are grounded in our faith’s teachings and inspire us to do good. And it means that when we do find ourselves facing fear (fear being the root of anger, hate, and prejudices) we can turn to Christ and ask for God to send the Holy Spirit to guide us with love. When we follow through with that course of action we can more easily have faith that the outcome will be what God wills, and we are better able to accept it. Yes, there are many ways to talk about the spirit. During these seasons of Advent, Christmas and Epiphany, may we all work towards having a healthy spirit.
Peace to all,
Deacon Pete

A Community of Healing

August 25, 2013 Leave a comment

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There is a much bigger picture to today’s Gospel than the obvious question and answer to “why did you work on the Sabbath?”  We’ve read this piece of scripture and others like it numerous times and here we find it facing us once again.  So while we know how the story ends, let’s go back to the beginning.  Sometimes if we place ourselves as characters in the reading we can gather some other information.

Imagine a world where while you were traveling on foot, the only things you ever saw were on the ground right below you.  The sky is forever out of your view.  Perhaps you may catch a glimpse of the sun or the moon on the horizon from time to time, but in the mountain country that would be rare, as would be seeing the constellations and the night sky lit up with a billion stars.  You can hear the sounds of animals and you feel the wind, cold, and heat upon you. There is no scenic vista to look out over.  The dirt, grasses, and entire landscape is limited to whatever is directly in front of your eyes that are aimed just slightly ahead of your feet.  You have no idea how high it is to the tops of the trees, nor have you understood and experienced the awe of watching an eagle soar in the blue skies of the heavens.  The only home you know is under your feet.  But you know it well.  Perhaps like someone who cannot see at all, your other senses are finely tuned to help identify your surroundings.

Such is the life that is led by the unnamed woman in today’s Gospel.  For eighteen years most of the world she was familiar with was the one I just described.  Bent over, looking down, and probably relying on a staff of some sort that would provide enough stability to keep her from falling over.  Luke doesn’t tell us much about how she came to be this way, other than a generalized explanation of “a spirit”.  Some bible translations use the word “Satan” instead of “spirit.”  Doing so takes my memory back to the book of Job where Satan was the accuser and accomplice with God.  It seems the lack of further comment in the passage makes the reason less important.   Regardless of whether he means some sort of demon, or simply an illness that caused it, the focus shifts to the act of healing.

This is a rare moment in the Gospels where Jesus is not asked to heal.   The woman is present, and in the midst of the crowd in the Synagogue on the Sabbath to pray.  Nobody points her out as needing a cure.  Nobody carries her in on a stretcher or lowers her through the thatch roof to Jesus as we’ve read in other chapters of the Gospels.  She doesn’t fight 3through the crowd to touch his garment or climb up a fig tree hoping for a simple glimpse of him.  She is simply there like all the others, doing what she needs to be doing.  Her affliction is noticeable to everyone but she has done her best to avoid making a scene of herself.  After all, she is in a house of worship.  But through her entering and exiting week after week, it becomes evident that she is one of those ignored by society.  Those who pass her by on the streets ignore her bent body because most likely she won’t be seeing the faces that step from side to side and around her.  This is an ugly reaction, pretending not to notice someone in trouble.  The woman is probably numb to it after eighteen years; her emotions are callused from a silent ostracizing by the community.  Some of us have been in her shoes, but I’m guessing at least a few of us have been the observer of a situation like this at least once in our lives.

How many homeless people have we passed by on the sidewalks of our large cities, or even our local cities and towns and ignored their presence?  We pass by them, but with our heads turned aside so we don’t encounter that uneasy moment of eye to eye contact.  I would hope we at least offer up a silent prayer for them.  Better yet, to offer a warm smile and hello.  Jesus was fully aware of his surroundings in every way, particularly with those he referred to as “the least of these.”  Can you imagine him standing in the synagogue, preaching or reading to the crowd, stop in mid verse and say, “Woman, yes, you, come over here with me.” And then when she finally makes her way over to him he says, “Woman, you are set free from your ailment.”  What does it take to move you into action such as he does?  Could we break away from our agendas and schedules long enough to at least acknowledge that there is someone hurting along our paths almost everywhere we go?  Can we be confident enough in our prayers to know how much they would help the situation?  Will we make a gesture that tells them they are somebody, a part of humanity, not just a body in the way of our stroll down the sidewalk? Jesus takes that chance and he does so completely aware that he is standing in the middle of a Sabbath service in a synagogue.  There’s a saying I think comes from the Franciscan order (correct me if I’m wrong) that says; “You must never break a rule unless you know the reason the rule was made in the first place.  Once you understand the ‘why’ you can break as many as you need.”  Jesus understands the why.  He understands that we need a day of the week for rest and re-creation.  He also knows that there is more right than wrong in breaking this law.  The church leaders, callus in their own schooling and self-righteousness, call it a sin; Jesus tells the leader that not taking action and not healing was the real sin.   In Mark’s Gospel we hear him say “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” What seems to be a radical disregard for authority and legalism is in truth, an act of common sense and necessity.

There is one more part to this healing process that cannot go unnoticed.  Before she is completely healed and can stand upright he lays his hands on her.  There are other healings such as the Centurion’s servant who was healed without even seeing Jesus.  He even raised Lazarus from the dead without walking into the tomb.  It’s important to make note of this because the healing takes place not in private and not by request, but in a public arena without prior intent.  They are in a crowd and the unnamed woman has been singled out.  He tells her she is healed, but she does not respond until he lays his hands on her.  The touch that Jesus uses not only anoints and heals, but symbolically welcomes her as a member of this community.  It is the touch of inclusion.  It says “You are not a loner, but one like the rest of us, come and join us, you are fully capable of enjoying all that is offered here.”

Some of us have reason to look for healing in this community.  There are people who feel they’ve been wronged and there are those who feel others have been wronged.  Some steps have been made toward this healing, but as a community we’ve acknowledged there is more that we need to do in order to bring us up to a healthier parish than we’ve been in recent times.  I can assure you, your leaders are taking appropriate action to move forward in a direction that addresses all of our issues.  But as we see in today’s Gospel, we can talk amongst ourselves and with each other forever; but all of the words in the world may not be enough to complete the process.  We’ll need to put that symbolic act of a healing touch into action.  Let us begin this next phase of transition today.  As we share God’s Peace with each other from now on and forward, I ask you to share your healing touch with those around you.  Can we do this?  As we respond in our baptismal convenient, we will “with God’s help.”  Amen.

Scripture Reference:  RCL, Year C, Proper 16, Luke 13:10-17

Distractions and the Better Part

July 21, 2013 Leave a comment

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Luke’s gospel story of Martha and Mary contains a variety of issues to choose from when trying to get the heart of what Jesus is saying.  There are a number of interpretations for this passage of scripture, so for beginners let’s look at several items of interest that can be argued.

First of all, there is nothing wrong with what Martha is doing.  Going about her assigned duties in the preparation or cleaning up after a meal is something we all do, and I’ll get back to that in a bit.  Secondly, there is not a polarization between Mary and Martha.  By this I mean the sisters have a very good relationship between themselves; the only other reference to them comes from John’s gospel where they mourn for Lazarus who has died.  Some believe there is a notion that this is strictly a gender issue dealing with allowing women to study and learn with the men.  But let’s now look at some other points and see where they will take us.

Most of us have been in the situation of hosting a dinner or party.  Being a good host or hostess requires us to do many tasks at once.  It is probably the best (and original) honest to goodness definition of what we today call multi-tasking.  Greet people at the door, prepare the meal, offer drinks and a seat, chase the dogs off the couch so there IS a place to sit, clean up spills, set the table, serve the guests, and chase the dogs out from under the table; this is only a partial list of things that sometimes involves just one person during the course of an evening with company.  Even with two people there is always the possibility of forgetting something.  We can easily relate to Martha who, by the way is probably the home owner.  The opening line says she welcomed Jesus into HER home.  When we invite people into our homes we can so often become wrapped up in what the chores are that we lose sight of the hospitality side of things.  We can even go as far as seeming to ignore the friends we welcome.  So we are not to assume or misinterpret that Jesus is telling Martha to stop what she’s doing, the chores can wait, or that Mary is doing the only thing necessary.  He says she is doing the “better part”; the word “part” being essential here.  Listening to the words of Jesus is essential and foremost, but He reminds us that He is the most important part of the hole, not the sole attention of our acts.  If that were the case nobody would ever get anything done because we’d all be sitting around listening to each other talk about Jesus.  We can identify with this situation in our church life.  We would lose focus of where all of our energy is to be spent if we are looking at who we are serving or leading and what the end result is for them, the actions take over and we begin to make the program our idol.  Each of our programs then becomes the center of attention and the person or persons we start out to help become a by-product of the system.  There should always be a focus no matter how many things are on our agenda.  At our most recent diocesan convention, there was a resolution to begin each meeting – regardless of what it is – with the question “What actions will we be taking during our meeting here that effects the poor?”  When we sit back and think about that it puts things in a different perspective than jumping right into reports and figures and assignments.

Jesus puts it this way.  He says “Martha, you are distracted by many things.”  The only thing to do is keep his teaching and words in front of our actions.  When we take our eyes and ears off of the sacred, necessary chores become dull and bothersome.  It’s as if our way of doing things have been reversed, or turned upside down where we’ve somehow placed the better part at the bottom of our “to-do” list.   A perfect example of this would be the story of Brother Lawrence.  Brother Lawrence lived in France during the seventeenth century.  He grew up poor and so at the proper age he joined the military where he knew he’d always have food and shelter.  One day he was resting under what appeared to be the lifeless limbs of a tree in winter.  It was one of those instances that place an indelible mark on your soul.  In a vision he recognized his own seemingly dead life could be awakened if he only sought to bring God into his own life.  Shortly after he was injured, eventually had to quit the army, and so joined a monastery in Paris.  Having no great skills outside of being a foot soldier, Brother Lawrence was placed in the kitchen to wash the pots and pans and clean the floors.  He immediately set himself to work praising God for giving him this job, and soon even the filthiest of chores became a delight for him as he was able to find God in the presence of it.  He knew that every act, regardless of how mundane, could be a medium for God’s love, and he dedicated every act of his with these words; “The time of business does not with me differ from the time of prayer; and in the noise and clatter of my kitchen, while several persons are at the same time calling for different things, I possess God in as great a tranquility as if I were upon my knees at the blessed sacrament.”  This, I believe, is what Jesus is telling Martha to do.  Do things for the love of God.  Embrace all that we do as an act of prayer.  If we could do this in just a portion of our lives imagine how much peace we would find and how much aggravation we would avoid.  For years I personally viewed St. Paul’s conviction to “pray without ceasing” as something unattainable for the ordinary people we are.  That was while I was being like Martha, and allowing the multi-tasking to distract me.  But the less I allowed things to distract me, the more I could then focus on keeping God and the body of Christ as the head of my household, and the easier some things became.  The challenges don’t vanish into thin air, the same things come along in life as they always did, but by keeping Christ first and reacting in faith that God is with you, somehow makes things easier to get through.

Finally, you know I’ve mentioned a few other times how I’m learning so much from Luke’s gospels on how his words were intentionally written for the “least of these.”  Not only does he have Jesus intentionally praising women for wanting to learn, he places Mary in a position to listen attentively, something that mostly men would be doing in that era.  And of course he also has brought his teaching out of the synagogue into public squares and now brings it into a humble home showing that there is no place that God’s word does not belong.  So as we go about our normal business for the day, as we head out of our houses this week to go to work or play or whatever our plans are, let us not forget that our first action should be keeping God as the better part of the day.   Let us not get distracted by the clutter, or the clanging of pots and pans, or the blare of the neighbors TV, or the barking of dogs chasing the cat back upstairs where they think he belongs.  Let us pray first for the guidance and presence of our Lord in all of our actions and reactions and ask for help in remembering to do whatever is the “better part.”  Amen

Luke 10:38-42

Spirit and Character (and hope)

May 26, 2013 1 comment

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How striking the words that Jesus starts out with! “I still have many things to say to you but you cannot bear them now.” He tells his friends this because if he told them the truth they wouldn’t believe him, nor would they understand certain things about God and Spirit. With each passing day He made reference to God as his father, yet even that seemed difficult for them to grasp. Many mysteries of the world would have been revealed to them if they could somehow break away from the routine thought patterns of their minds. But at the same time, they came to him with hopes, dreams and a faith that defied rational thinking. Day after day they followed him and listened to his words. He eagerly and lovingly accepted the crowds that begged to be healed, taking time away only to eat, sleep, and of course – pray. They may not have understood the how or why of this healing but none of it seemed to matter to the followers – as long as they could touch his garments they knew the possibility of a new life was at hand. And Jesus recognized this need for a personal relationship – all the while knowing that his absence would be quite hard for them to bear. For him to leave without instructions would be near abandonment to those who expected their messiah to be a living hero and free them once and for all. They were to hear all the truth at another time in another way. A way in which God the Son could continue guiding and loving them even after he was gone from their sight; a way in which we can still today can access all the truth without hearing the words.

Yes, even in our own time, we find it difficult to bear the real meaning behind the words we hear or miss the opportunity to make a connection with what we read or hear. I have a personal story about that which might serve as a good example that goes along with today’s reading from Paul. It illustrates this fairly well. Some of you may have heard me tell it, some not, and I hope it bears repeating on this day. Three years ago while I was working at my internship, Sheri happened to become ill and we were in one of rooms of the emergency department at the hospital. Now it also happened to be that I was preaching that upcoming Sunday and was reading the lessons to see where my sermon would be going. As I sat next to the bed, I opened up my Bible to the marked passage and was reading – quite intensely to be sure – when I glanced over and thought about how much pain she was in at the time. I glanced back at the text and continued. The next thing I know I’m reading the line about suffering… and about how it leads to endurance… and how that leads to character… and then hope… and then I became filled with the Holy Spirit, or so I thought, and thinking that this was all in some cosmic order of events; me… her… the reading… everything seemed to fit together… I said; “Listen to this! Here’s an answer and reason for what you’re going through!” Well, she glanced up at me in what appeared to be thankfulness for maybe finding a cure. “Here it is, right here in this week’s readings for my sermon!” And I began reciting the passage from Paul of what suffering led to and after I was done I said; “See? All of this pain and suffering you’re going through?!? It all leads to character and hope!! So you have nothing to worry about!” —– It was at that moment I learned a huge lesson in bedside manners concerning pastoral care. She gave me a look only a spouse could understand and said “I don’t want character and hope; I want this pain to go away!!!”

Yes, I then also understood how many times we think we have an answer – or the answer – and jump into something without first discerning the situation or praying for the right solution. It was not that I had lousy intentions with my zealous reaction; it was that I was not ready to bear the words. I, too, was hearing through my own mind from my own will and my own emotions – and not from a place where I could discern all the truth that the passage was telling me. Oh, the Holy Spirit was present there, that’s for sure, right there in the written words. Had I maybe not been so attached to the situation I may have found that the passage was meant for me. That as I struggled and sympathized with her pain, the situation would help form me into being better with hospital visits. It might just help me recognize the hope that I need to have for others.

When our knee-jerk human reaction is the desire to find a cure or an answer or a quick way to relieve someone from pain it can – as I learned – be more of a setback than advancement toward our cause. Instead of first seeking guidance and waiting to be faithfully confident in knowing the truth, we plunge into waters of unknown depth. Where did these words and my actions come from that led me to do the things I did and react that way? Were these actions and words that first came to mind and out of my mouth the result of patient listening to all the truth from the Holy Spirit or were they of my own will? How can we be sure? Where does the guidance and comfort come from? God? Yes, God. From that part of God who is our Father and Creator? From Jesus? Jesus did say that He would give us whatever we asked for in His name, and we know that Jesus was God in human flesh, but we’re also told Jesus ascended into heaven, too, so it’s not his physical presence that we meet. So what is it? Here, revealed, is the relationship of the Holy Spirit, being one with God the Father and Creator; and one with Jesus the Son of God, fully human, fully divine. Here is where one becomes three. It’s here in these last two or three weeks of the Easter Season where we are told we have nothing to fear even though Jesus is no longer walking among us. For what we have now – is what we have always had – it’s that part of God, that “person” that was from the beginning, that was breathed from the lips of God to bring us into life. It’s that Spirit that moves like the wind; we don’t know where it comes from or where it goes. It’s that part of God that Jesus commands to lead us and trust in while we are on this journey together on earth. Our Advocate: The breath of God: The comforter…

In this period of the life of our church, I have witnessed how St. Luke’s has been listening to guidance of the Holy Spirit. Not only have we dealt with our internal matters in a prayerful and spirit-led way, but not one of our ministries to those outside these walls who need our help has been left unattended. We are alive with the Holy Spirit and She has kept us focused and strong.
Speaking of strong, this is also Memorial Day weekend – the time we spend honoring those who gave their lives during times of war in service to our country. There is something to be said about a person who stands up for his or her beliefs to the point of being willing to die for them. And that’s what this holiday is about. It started out being called “Decoration Day” because the graves of the fallen soldiers were to be marked with decorations of flowers. Today it has become to many a time of reflection, thanksgiving and a prayerful memorial. One of my favorite memorials is a song by Edwin McCain called “Prayer to St. Peter.” It’s a song about where we find souls lost in the conflict of war, and how they should be treated in heaven. Here is a portion of it: “Let them in, Peter. For they are very tired. Give them couches where the angels sleep. And light those fires. Let them wake up whole again… to brand new dawns. Fired by the sun. Not wartime’s bloody guns. May their peace be deep. Remember where their broken bodies lie. God knows how young they were. To have to die.” Likewise, may our peace be deep as we continue our journey together in prayer, in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen

scripture references: Romans 5:1-5 and the Gospel of John 16:12-15

Nature’s Course (what’s for dinner?)

June 28, 2011 2 comments

Food.  Survival.  Nature.  Balance.  Think about how often we notice these words come to life in the world when they involve animals.  What is our initial reaction, what are our choices, and how do we actually respond?  I had a backyard episode recently that involved a true life and death situation unfold.

The scenario:  A cacophony of domestic and wild life erupted as I turned away from the berry bushes.  My dogs were barking.  Birds were screeching and crying.  A small flock of robins contributing to the screeching were filling up the lilacs and forsythias.    A cat was hissing and bounding through the yard chasing an apparently wounded juvenile robin.

The questions:  Am I bound by own nature to interfere with what appears to be nature taking its course?  Is what I’m feeling wrong that at some point I am tied into rescuing this helpless creature or am I being selective in my acts of “heroism”?

We are often told to let nature take its course.  The scenario is merely what happens in the wild every moment, we just aren’t there as witnesses.  To interrupt the flow of nature may be wrong on several levels.  For those of us who live in the country or semi-rural areas this scene of predation is presented to us on nature’s stage in various degrees of intensity and frequency.  There is the common, feeding act of a bird grabbing an insect or pulling a worm out of the ground.  I once stood mesmerized watching a colorful moth dance across the grass, only to have her review cut short by a bluebird who decided it was time for a snack!  The final act of this play was dramatic and swift!  I felt honored to be in the audience!  Perhaps you’ve encountered a snake consuming its prey or watched a fish dart through the water catching flies, larva, and other smaller species of fish.  They are all part of the natural order of keeping the environment balanced, healthy, and nourished.  We accept most of this behavior from the wild side.

Can we accept what happens, though, when our domesticated species become involved?  In my situation dogs and cats were thrown into the scene.  Although the dogs were merely reacting to the presence of the cat and the eruption of noise, they raised the drama level a few decibels with their barking and howling.  My experience of watching other people’s reactions to similar events along with my own noticeable pensiveness while witnessing similar acts shifts the care factor to a relationship of familiarity and endearment.  The greater we are attuning to the species involved – regardless of predator or prey – the greater our reaction.  And when it involves our beloved pets it can most heart-wrenching indeed; even when they are merely observers!  Place them as the predator and they may get a scolding.  Of course we never want them to be viewed as prey, but even the goldfish and koi in our backyard ponds can be subject to the passing raptor or egret.  They are all given to us by our Creator to care for and tend to.  At some level we must allow them to be what they were created to be.

So feel free to tell me: what have you done or what do think you’d do in a situation such as this?  Please respect all views as I do.  Peace!