The lion and the lamb.

“The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. The infant will play near the cobra’s den, and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.”

Yes, Lord – I believe You have a healing mindset. Yes, Father. Yes, Papa. Yes, Holy Spirit. Yes, Jesus.

You heal me. Yes. You love me. Yes.

But point blank, I don’t want to crawl up on a cross like You did. I don’t want to get murdered in the name of Love. Shattered. Haven’t You already asked enough of that from me?

The lion and the lamb. The little children in the dens of the cobras.

Fear everywhere.

What if it is because we are all so hungry?

What if the lion could lay by the lamb because the lion is already full. Already filled. So he isn’t desperate. He isn’t hungry. He doesn’t really want to fight or kill. He wants love the same way too. It’s exhausting never being able to lay down.

Ok, but what if that is available now? Even now.

We see this. People will take in animals. They call it a sanctuary. Hmmm. Where else do we maybe more commonly hear that word? In church. We, the church. Shelter.

The animals, the odd couples, form in the sanctuary. Maybe sometimes in the wild. When one has compassion for another. The wild cat mother feeling empathy for the baby beast. A bond forms. We see this. When the mother has enough.

Even in ourselves. It both saddens and amazes me the extremes people will go to in order to protect and care for animals. As we should, I imagine. But to the exclusion of the care of our own kind.

I understand the reasons why this is not so. But isn’t it crazy, from a high level, that we humans can get it together to adopt out millions of animals while any, even one, child remains in an orphanage. That bothers me as much as I understand it. Where is our heart?

We are so afraid. We are so hungry.

I am terrified. That You will ask me to do like You, Jesus. That You have asked me. I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to take their wrath. To not fight back. At a minimum to not protect myself. When I am able to do so.

That’s why they killed You. They wanted You to deliver them from the Romans. From all their oppressors. Fine, we’ll love each other. But Love the people who hurt us?! God, aren’t You asking too much?

We can’t see because we are so hungry. We incorrectly think the solution is to eat each other.

“I AM the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe.”

We don’t believe Trinity is enough. Jesus taught us. Where to go for what we need. But we don’t believe.

We don’t believe that although He despised the shame, He did it for the joy set before Him. There was something good, very good, that gave Jesus joy. That got Him through. That could get us through. If we weren’t so hungry that we’d even ask.

This maybe is prayer. Something in going to Trinity constantly. Not in prostration as we tend to think of it. Not with our faces hanging low. But as children that are completely safe – more so than we can think.

What if that is the only way? Do we dare contemplate how great things could be? Abundantly more than we could ask or imagine.

Greater than these. How, God? How, Jesus? How can we do greater things than You?

Maybe Love. Maybe it’s Love.

“he who believes in Me”

What, Jesus? Not that you’ll kill my Romans. My oppressors. The people who abuse me. Not that You’ll kill them for me. Punish them. Like we punished and killed You. No; but that I’ll believe that somehow I can come to You and You can heal my hunger so much, to the point that I can feed them – those who have hurt me, those who would kill me. I can feed the lions, the wolves, so they won’t want to eat the lambs.

I believe it is possible. Even as I know it is clearly impossible in my own strength. But God.

Are we so hungry that we don’t even want to hear this?! I can certainly relate.

We say, two thousand years, Lord. Jesus. Two thousand years. And then some. Millennia before. And You want ME to try to make a dent, Father? What is the point? After all I’ve been through? Why can’t someone Love me first? Why does it have to be me? I don’t even want to say the words, but I know we feel it, so only in the interest of being honest – “Why don’t You pick someone else, God?”

As if this is a burden too difficult to bear. And to be sure, a dying. A laying down. Of our own teeth, our own fangs, our own claws. Otherwise called ego. Understandable. But who are we? Children of God? Or not? Who are we?

We… No, let me be clear where it counts – I believe, Lord; but please help my unbelief.

So much more. But what if the point is that the joy before Jesus was that He knew that when we really, really got it – we would feed each other and no one would go hungry. All the way down to the Creation that cries out for us to rise up in that way. To feed the lions so that the lambs will not be in danger.

We can barely even begin to think about all of this. But God. Only God. So, help me, God. Amen.