Not to be out-skunked.

wood 2

Bob and I were enjoying a nice, quiet summer night walk through the neighbor one evening.  Our older street doesn’t have the best lighting so naturally it was dark as we picked our way along some of the crumbing sidewalks.  Suddenly I stopped when I say something moving slowly in the grass as we passed, and thinking it was a wounded animal or bird, we looked at it a little more intently.  As our pupils dilated to let in more light, the image that pounded through the retina and hit the brain was something black with a white stripe down its back.

The brain then gave definite directions.

Unfortunately, we didn’t move quite fast enough, and even more so, we both shouted out in fear



The brain did not fail us.  It gave us the correct information; we were just not prepared to know what to do with that information.

Unlike this guy.  You gotta admire him on some level:

I’m challenged by this attitude.  I’m sorry to admit that I tend to be more on the panic side (as the fragrance on my shoes could attest!) rather than the calm stoic side; that is, learning the (life) discipline of standing firm, being very still, until the threat passes. And I definitely see that here:

“Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man whom You discipline and instruct, O Lord, and teach out of Your law, that You may give him power to keep himself calm in the days of adversity, until the [inevitable] pit of corruption is dug for the wicked.”

I’m long on information.  I need more than information; I need wisdom, and the power to put that wisdom into practice.  It’s so easy for me to panic about so many things—family, health, finances, world situations, _________.  The problem is that when I panic, I tend to do stupid pretty well, which can get quite stinky not only for me, but for those around me.  The atmosphere is not conducive to others wanting to be around me.  (Especially when I track it into my house, if I can extend the metaphor a bit!)

The psalmist here gives me hope, that the discipline God places on me grants me firm footing when (not if) difficult and scary situations arise, since “the valley of the shadow” is not something we are told to circumvent, but to go through…

…albeit not alone.

Psalm 94:12,13  Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)  Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation

Skunk, by any other name, would smell…badly.

IMG_20150103_172451138Epistemology.  Hermeneutics. Higher and lower textual criticism.  Big words that describe the study (in one sense or another) of God, trying to answer questions like: Does God exist?  What is He like?

I would like to posit my additional contribution to the discussion: Humor.  Who but a creatively funny Deity could conceptualize the duckbill platypus?  I see Adam now, while he was naming all the animals:

“What was He thinking??”  (Adam’s reaction, however, is unfortunately not recorded.)

Here’s another example: the skunk.  Who else would have the sense of humor to create an animal whose main self-defense was to assault the olfactory nerve of its antagonist?? 

(I wonder if this was also the occasion of the first expletive, post-Garden, of course…)

Several years ago, my husband and I were out for a summer’s evening stroll in the Continue reading “Skunk, by any other name, would smell…badly.”

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