Friday, June 22, 2012


On my morning beach bike ride yesterday, I passed a woman walking two dogs. She was wearing a large backpack, that squawked. I turned around as I passed her. In the mesh covered backpack was a large green parrot.

Now that is novel! I have to get Asherel one for her bird so he can go on walks with us! But then I thought about how truly silly the whole concept was. How cruel to put a bird that could fly in a cage, to take him on a walk on the beautiful wide open beach with limitless skies that he could see, but that are denied him.

That day, on the beach, we saw another huge stingray caught and released by a fisherman, three baby black tip sharks caught and released, and one yellow unidentified animal that we watched for three hours. We caught him in our frisbee, which Asherel replenished often with fresh sea water. I video-taped it in hopes that I could find a biologist to identify it. It was about an inch long, and moved by violently thrashing its body together and apart. It was yellow, but transparent. Its guts looked like 3 miniature tennis balls. the body was somewhat ovular, with about seven or eight flowery protuberances, that looked like flowery fins. We could see no definable head, eyes, or mouth. There are unusual sea worms, and we think it is either one of those, or perhaps a mollusk without its shell. Much as Asherel longed to keep it, she released it in a tide pool as we packed up to leave the beach.

So many creatures designed to fly, swim, and thrash, caught and imprisoned for a brief time. I imagined that for all but the poor parrot, the release to the wonderful wide open world they belonged in was ecstasy. I suspect that even the yellow blob creature, which did not seem highly cognitive, felt a rush of something akin to joy when it dawned on his neural ganglion that he was free again.

We are all like those captured animals, reeled in against our will in to a limited existence. For some the cage is bitterness that cuts us off from others. For some it is sarcasm that pushes a world away with hurtful barbs disguised as humor. For some, it is old age and failing bodies, or failing minds. For some it is sin that separates us from God. My Bible reading this morning was from Ezekiel. The chapter largely was God's rant against His sinful people who lived their decadent life with no regard for God's loving parameters designed to protect them. In the end, God threatens severe consequence for their continual disregard, but He does make one final plea that is repeated often in the Bible: Is there no one who will stand in the gap, fill the breach where sin has flooded into the world? Will anyone turn the people from their bondage to sin and help release them to the bountiful life they were designed to enjoy?

"Maybe you could take the yellow blob back to the condo just for the day so you could watch him?" I asked Asherel, who was having a hard time tearing herself away from him.
"No," she said, "If I knew he would live, I would...but he might die, and I don't want him to die. I am going to release him."
That is what any loving and powerful being would do for the weak, I thought.

Ezekiel 22:30 (NIV)
“I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one.

-save a dog-

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