You Are Free to Move About the Country

Last week I went on a trip to the zoo with some family members who were visiting from out of town. It was something that we all thought would be fun for the kids. I haven’t been to a zoo in years and was surprised to see that everything had changed since I was there last—except of course one thing—the animals were still in small, confined spaces.

The zoo overall was beautiful. They had done a really nice job. But it made me sad. There was an exhibit for the bald eagles. They had created an outdoor, natural atrium with a viewing area for visitors. These birds were particularly large with over a seven-foot wingspan. In looking at the area that they had available to fly—it was so small compared to their size that they would barely be able to negotiate the space without hitting something.

We then moved on to the owls who were in a darkened cage but there were only a few feet distances between where they were perched trying to sleep and where I stood. As I said, we thought it would be fun for the kids to go to the zoo and evidently so did the rest of the town. There were hundreds of happy, exuberant, noisy children screaming and running around.

All of this noise is going on every day, and during the time that these creatures sleep. Being a person who dislikes having their sleep disrupted, I felt particularly sympathetic to their plight. There are some animals who fare better, it seems, in captivity and seem fairly well contented. There are others where you can actually feel their sadness and depression.

There are times when animals have to be rescued or put into captivity in order to stay alive, but for the most part, this is done for our entertainment. It makes one think about our history with the animal kingdom. The way we have abused our furry friends is sad. It also shows where our planet is out of balance. We exploit nature. In fact, we have a history of exploiting anything that is weaker.

The history of abuse of women and children, nature, animals, and resources speaks to the huge needs we have for healing in our world. Where do we begin? How do we turn things around? What do we need to start doing differently? All of these are important questions.

Of course, the logical place to begin is with our own self. We personally need to heal. The healing is one that comes from the Creator who made us. We must go back to Source and ask for a new heart and a new way of being in the world. We must do this every day and search for it with all our hearts.

We are given the promise that if we seek we will find. When we make it our highest priority to seek the Kingdom of God, we are assured that everything else will fall into place.