Mama cat with her four adorable kittens has taken serious offense at Red Hen’s incursions into their food bowl. While I watch the unfolding power-struggle, I have to smile at the innocence of animals struggling for their place in the world and attempting to protect their own. I can solve the problem with a broom, ushering Red-Hen back toward the chicken yard and calming the cat with a few soft words. Tragically, the larger world cannot be so easily appeased.
Lately I have read several furious posts by people justifiably outraged about Planned Parenthood’s assaults on humanity and the world’s apparent lack of concern. I am outraged too. Yet I also live in a society that has some good in it. I feel like I am living in a duality – a heaven and hell reality. Some how we have managed to make a pretty good living while slaughtering millions. Some how we have managed to acquire a high standard of living while racking up unpayable debts. Some how we have managed to secure technological and scientific advancement while losing touch with our families and our better selves.
When I pondered what to write about this morning, I considered all the beauty in my little world: the late summer flowers coming into bloom, the antics of young animals at play, the enticing challenge of teaching young minds to read and write, the adventure of new recipes, and how my third daughter made the most delicious “sand-cookies” and how she almost convinced the little ones that she really did use sand. All these are worthy topics, but how can I justify my public time and attention on the good and the beautiful, while tragic and terrible reality exists along side, creeping up behind?
After many years dealing with loved ones who suffered from various addictions, I finally came to accept that I needed help – along with them. I went to a few Al-anon meetings and discovered there what my faith had taught me all along. I am not alone and I am not here to fix the world, I am here to love the world. But love does not mean to enable the wicked and wrong to conquer the good and the beautiful. Sometimes brooms are necessary to move an incurring hen to her rightful place. Sometimes videos are necessary to expose the horrors of genocide. Sometimes we should be outraged.
We live in a world incorporating elements of both heaven and hell. It seems to me, it is best to appreciate the one while holding back the other. Ignoring either is to invite insanity and spiritual death. While I’d like to make Red-Hen understand her place, I know she will try again, as will Possum and many other wild folks of the woods. But I keep my broom handy and enjoy the late blooms anyway.