Monday, July 2, 2007

A Sushi World

My neighborhood backs up to a marsh - down the road is a long pier that extends into the middle of the waterway. The pier was my destination for today's early morning walk. As I stood on the dock gazing down at the brackish water, I noticed tiny little fish jumping out of the water in the early dawn light. Gulls occasionally swooped down, snagging them up as they jumped. So I wondered - why the jumping? Then I noticed, they were being chased to the surface by larger fish looking to eat some breakfast.

I imagined life for these tiny fish. It'd be one thing to be eaten by a bird - an unknown predator stalking from the sky - but to be eaten by one of your own kind, right in your own backyard?! Slowly it dawned on me that people are not so different. You'd think we'd have more compassion for our own kind. Often we'll work to save the trees or the whales (that's good) but then treat our own family, neighbors or the poor among us harshly. I don't want to live in a fish-eat-fish world. Yet, I realized this morning that compassion is not something I pray for very often.

I don't want to chase others away with my impatience, or bite their heads off with my irritability. But I know it will take the power of Christ in me, directing my thoughts and actions, to avoid doing that. So today I'm praying for compassion to fill my heart, and kindness to coat my tongue.

"Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other,
just as in Christ God forgave you." ~ Ephesians 4:32 (NIV)

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