"Big kitty" is the other way to say mountain lion.... The old hospital backs right up to the church parking lot and our house.
Hmmmmm.... I thought, having just heard the joke played on the policemen of town. Somebody had called in a report of a "big kitty" sitting by the side of the road just outside of town, so they called out the large game experts who went rushing to the scene --but it was only a truly big kitty --yes, wild, but still only a kitty.
And the People are still all laughing. That was a good one.
So, I am left wondering if the "big kitty" behind the old hospital was another truly big kitty or a mountain lion. The caller promised to call me back when she knew --her husband works for Fish and Game. In the meantime, at my insistence, we continue to keep the dogs on a short leash in the yard. Especially since they have both been going crazy around the bushes beside the St. Francis statue --something is spraying those bushes or doing something there to drive them so crazy.... We go out in the yard and directly to those bushes... every time. And, the leashes, especially since the Rez Dogs run wild here. And, especially since the eagles come and hang out and sit on the utility poles behind the house looking for something to eat.... And, especially since my wild boy dogs like to bark at people walking by, and that's just not very nice....
It's an amazing and wondrous thing to live so close to wild.
It is a wondrous and frightful thing to live so close to wild.
It reminds me that God is wild. There are things about God that should terrify any of us, as much as we are to be terrified of mountain lions --as much as we are to be terrified of eagles --as much as we are to be terrified of wild dogs (that mate with the coyotes btw)....
A wild God, unafraid to be born, unafraid to move like the wind or a pillar of fire, unafraid to die....
This morning, because of our continued fascination with the Korean dramas that we watch on Hulu (yes, we have internet, but no regular TV), I read some Korean history over coffee --before breakfast --the major eras and dynasties. I had no idea... it's amazing... and the 20th Century division of Korea, North and South, was another external fabrication --like Berlin... like Israel... how long, O Lord.... day after day, their tragic empires rise....
--that's not wildness. That's barbarity --barbarism....
One of the lines around here in these parts --when barbaric schools were imposed to help in the "civilizing" of the Indians, the line is --we were civilized. Already.
--and I wonder about my soul...
I wonder how many times and in what ways I might confuse freedom and liberty with wildness, decision with barbarism --how many times I strive for civility --when, indeed, civility is a far cry off....
I know in my heart of hearts, because of our oh-so-very limited sight lines, that even our good deeds will need forgiving... that even those things done with good intent will need redemption....
I know in my heart of hearts that most often I am merely a big kitty, not a mountain lion... dreaming of things carried suppressed in my DNA, but largely domesticated....
And as I wait for Our Wild God to be known again in flesh and blood, I know I truly fear the undomesticated parts... I want for the safe mother and child, the buoyant angels singing "peace", the outlaw shepherds welcomed close... --and I fear our response to always be the slaughter of the innocent. Which makes me not dread the advent of Christmas... but shrink away from the giving over in absolute joy.
How this dread is mixed with thoughts of a wild God, I am not yet entirely sure.... why the new shyness of the undomesticated parts....
Perhaps it is the aftershock of the Connecticut Massacre... perhaps not. Perhaps it is the Holy Day of Holy Innocents lurking in my memory, and dreading that... coupled with the looming anniversary of Wounded Knee.... Yesterday was the anniversary of the murder of Sitting Bull.
Perhaps because I am learning to carry the burden of sin in a new way.... Perhaps it's because of the closeness of wildness.....
At prayer this morning (A Song of Ezekiel, Ezekiel 36:24-28)
I will take you from among all nations; *
and gather you from all lands to bring you home.
I will sprinkle clean water upon you; *
and purify you from false gods and uncleanness.
A new heart I will give you *
and a new spirit put within you.
I will take the stone heart from your chest *
and give you a heart of flesh.
I will help you walk in my laws *
and cherish my commandments and do them.
You shall be my people, *
and I will be your God.
(Canticle: A Song of the Spirit, Revelation 22:12-17)
“Behold, I am coming soon,” says the Lord,
“and bringing my reward with me, *
to give to everyone according to their deeds.
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, *
the beginning and the end.”
Blessed are those who do God’s commandments,
that they may have the right to the tree of life, *
and may enter the city through the gates.
“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to you, *
with this testimony for all the churches.
“I am the root and the offspring of David, *
I am the bright morning star.”
“Come!” say the Spirit and the Bride; *
“Come!” let each hearer reply!
Come forward, you who are thirsty, *
let those who desire take the water of life as a gift.
Huh... there we are.
Take this heart of stone.
Give me water, because I am thirsty.
Come! Domestic, wild --who cares any more. Just come!
I will give over my fear of sin and disaster.
I will give over and sit barefoot at the foot of the tree of life.
Off I go, into my wild and domesticated day....