Two of the last three days have been full of animals. The first was an animal sanctuary, the second a zoo. As I think of the time, I find that there are several lingering observations.
Relationships are a two way choice, even with animals. The devotion and attention of two sheep dogs was obvious. They patiently waited on every command! Their eagerness to do what was needed came through bright eyes, a tense alertness, and instant response. The contrast between the ways they worked together and the kangaroo gently boxing with Cherry highlighted the alternatives.
Comfort zones are individualistic. Yes, there are norms within species, communities, and situations, however everyone is unique. We may not recognize the differences. Each encounter is an invitation to listen and learn. Taking advantage of what is offered open up the opportunity for more.
A gentle loving spirit can be understood across the barriers. As I watched animals respond to the innocence of a child and the sentiment of those that knew enough to care deeply, the bond being built was clear. At its core was a simple exchange of love with a desire to be loved.
Each lesson took me back to the core detail I often forget. I was given a wonderful gift at a young age. The reminder is here; “Christ’s anointing teaches you the truth on everything you need to know about yourself and him, uncontaminated by a single lie. Live deeply in what you were taught.” (1 John 2.27)
Today I can connect. The opportunities will be in ways I have not imagined. People and situations will exist outside my comfort zone. Others will have values and priorities that are different than the ones I recognize. I know that it is more than coming in prepared. It is about making a choice to be willing and then acting in the moment. We share the desire to be part of something greater than what we have. Today is an opportunity to welcome others into what they cannot see while walking with them to places we never imagined.