Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Ooohhh! Poor Thing!

This morning I was awakened by a sound that cut through my drowsiness and caused me to jump from bed to peer out the window leerily.

It was a squeaking, the kind of terrified squeaking that a small creature makes in the face of pain and death.

Outside the window was that old gray cat with a baby by the neck. I could not tell for certain whether it was mouse or a bunny. It held the little thing and kept biting the neck till it stopped moving and squeaking. Then it dropped it and bounded a few feet back, pausing for a few moments and then bounded into the flower bed from whence a brand new squeaking immediately ensued.

I felt sick. I hate death. I hate suffering.

I went out a bit later to confirm what I had observed. Indeed it was a baby bunny.

I felt especially badly, knowing that cats often kill just for the “fun-of-it,” leaving the “toy” after it stops functioning. Even though the silly bunnies eat our garden vegetables and cause other little problems, I still felt badly, especially thinking that it had been wasted rather than consumed by the mean old cat.

A while later I checked through the window and could not find the little carcass. I went out and checked and found that indeed the little snack bunny had not been wasted after all, but had been carried off with its sibling to be food for little baby kitties (presumably anyway).

While I was somewhat relieved to know that the food value of the bunny was not wasted after all, I nevertheless was reminded of the painful reality of the curse upon the creation and upon the ground for Mankind’s sake.

And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.
(Genesis 3:17-20)

Yes! A painful reminder of how the choices of Mankind have brought such terrible things into the world. Because Adam listened to his wife rather than to the Lord, sin was introduced to the world, and with sin, the separation from Life, Life which exists only in communion with God. Sin, death, and the power of the devil now would rule over mankind.

But this would not do. The Lord already had established the plan of salvation. He was ready for this tragedy.

“Cursed is the ground for thy sake!”

Mankind chose the way of accursedness. But the Lord overruled Man’s choice and cursed the ground for Man’s sake. The ground or the earth became cursed so that Man would be set free. The earth became cursed so that Man would be called to repentance and faith and receive the redemption that was promised through the Seed of Woman. Now mankind would live in hope again, as Adam immediately declared, giving a new name to his wife. Now her name was Eve, or Life. This is what the Gospel does for those who openly hear what is declared by the curse that is placed upon the earth for Man’s sake. The Gospel turns the heart away from the way of accursedness and away from the way of death, so that Life is restored through the renewal of God’s holy communion in Christ with the one in whom repentance and faith has been worked.

So little bunny, so old gray cat, thank you for the reminder. While the seasons of Lent and Easter have already come and gone in the Church Year, nevertheless, the cursed earth continually cries out so that we may hear the blessed Gospel and rejoice in God’s goodness.

Thank you little bunny. Thank you hungry kitty.

Thank you God!

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