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Unlikely bedfellows and strange companions

13December2011

Welcome to our newest member of the CCD family, Pamela Czarnota. . . 

Isaiah 11:6-9

The wolf shall live with the lamb,
the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
the calf and the lion and the fatling together,
and a little child shall lead them.
The cow and the bear shall graze,
their young shall lie down together;
and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp,
and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den.
They will not hurt or destroy
on all my holy mountain;
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.

The abbreviated version of this text might read:  Everything in the world will know the love of God.  That love will fulfill every living creature.  In that fulfillment, the predators will no longer prey…and the helpless will need no defense.  All of creation will behave differently, according to God’s desire.

I live in a relatively serene suburban forest.  The deer wander through, but rarely are in fear for their lives.  Predators are few and far between.  The closest I come to witnessing aggression between hunter and prey is when I look out my window and see the resident hawk scrutinizing my bird feeder, or when the neighborhood cat visits the chipmunk trails.  It doesn’t portray the vast wildness of the reading from Isaiah, does it?  Still, I can imagine that I would be astounded if the hawk simply perched next to the chickadee.  What if the cat slept at the base of the tree while the mourning doves and chipmunks scurried about gathering the bounty below the feeder?

The only way this could happen is if all the needs of the predator were filled and the instinct for each one to provide for its own survival was unnecessary.  Whenever paths crossed or there were visitors to one’s territory, there would be no sense of threat and no need to protect one’s interests.  Everything would retain its identity, but it would be no longer necessary to promote one’s own interests at the expense of another.  In completeness there is no reason to encroach upon others.

Isaiah invites us to look at the aspects of life where struggle or conflict results from fear of the void.  That fear can result from a depletion of physical resources.  It can also be experienced when we stand at the raw edge of uncertainty.  Out of fear we may strive for the “more” of wealth or security.  We may also work to assert our position simply because we can’t abide the empty feeling of being wrong.

What would change if all of the emptiness that I try to satisfy on my own were lavished with God’s abundance?  What would be my attitude towards my “foes” if I trusted the complete security I am given in Christ?  How would I rest in the presence of my “enemies” of anger, doubt, fear, or pride?  How would I, filled to the brim with God’s goodness, walk differently amongst others?

 PC

 

Prayer: 

Divine Protector, Gracious Provider, stir up your Spirit amongst all of creation.  Help me to turn to you first in my hunger and need.  Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.  Amen. 

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. 13December2011 11:57

    A great first blog, Pamela!
    I must confess that I am fearful whenever anyone brings fear into the conversation, because I have seen it so often used as a club rather than healthy admonition, particularly in the recent Troubles within my former and your current denomination’s conversations.

    Church leaders need to be especially diligent in how they are pointing out that fear may be at play within a situation because people rarely respond well at first to being told they might be afraid. I know I have been on both sides – the one speaking and the being spoken to – and I treasured those moments when the truth was spoken in love rather than having a trump card be played. This blog post is an excellent way to begin that conversation about fear, done in a healthy and supportive way.
    KMF@CCD

  2. Chris Myers permalink
    26December2011 23:27

    Hi Pam,
    It’s fun to be friends with you on FB. Thank you for sharing your thoughts through your blog. You have shown me a new perspective on those seemingly contradictory words from Isaiah. I look forward to reading more…….
    Cuz Chris

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