Thursday, October 11, 2012

Spitting Alpacas

We all went on a long drive through the Endless Mountains to one of my folks favorite lunch spot. While the NY hillsides are subdued in their fall colors, the Pennsylvania hills were brilliant. It was a beautiful ride, with the added attraction of a stop off at the Alpaca farm. My sister Wendy didn't dare get out of the car because she said, "They spit."

When the Alpaca owner came out, I pointed to the car and said, "We brought my sister to see your Alpacas but she wimped out. She's afraid they will spit at her."
"They only spit if you say something really nasty," the owner assured me.

I find this amusing. Wendy is fearless- will cross country ski alone in wilderness populated with cougars, climb a mountain in winter and sleep in a snow hut, travel glacier fields with crevasses, but won't get out of a car because an alpaca might spit, that fearsome alpaca with its fluffy tuft of hair atop its head and huge doe brown eyes. Finally, Wendy ventured forth and we all gazed rapturously at the adorable little newborn baby alpaca.
"See," I told Wendy, as we returned to the car, "No one spit on you."

It is a funny thing- fears. So often we are not afraid of the things that really could hurt us, but we tremble at claps of thunder. I think the irony of this human conundrum is not lost on God. He often reminds us that we worry and fret over so many things we cannot change, things that really have no power. Yet, we scoff at His own outstretched hand, as though it could not squash us or gently scoop us up, as though it did not hold eternity in its grasp.

A gentle alpaca approached us and I reached out and touched its muzzle. The other alpacas did not come near. I suspect they had heard rumors that humans spit.

Proverbs 14:26-27,32 (NIV)
Whoever fears the Lord has a secure fortress, and for their children it will be a refuge. [27] The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, turning a person from the snares of death. [32] When calamity comes, the wicked are brought down, but even in death the righteous seek refuge in God.

-save a dog-

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