It was time to make himself known to the neighborhood and begin building community, as the vision had spoken. As a spiritual teacher, Yinney was all about promoting peace, and promoting peace was all about true “fellowship”. And you can’t have fellowship with someone who wants to eat you. This was an important part of the message he carried in his heart as he went out.
His 7th Day Tree lie a day behind. He was in the early hours of his second day of travel. He could only go three days out before having to begin his journey back to his tree, because when Yinney had to poo, it had to be there. It was the sacred way of his people, and why have a sacred tree if you’re not going to live in a sacred way?
So far there had been no special contacts with anyone, but he still remained hopeful and prayerful. There was no reason to rush. No reason to allow the small Fellowship that had started with Lu-Lu to be overcome by fast growing weeds. Weeds flourished in speed. Slowly he moved through the green canopy of trees like a slow flowing river, at peace with himself, his God, and the world.
Sloths are masters of moderation. Their very survival depends on it. A diet of leaves does not provide a lot of calories, so they do not have the fast metabolism for speed. They must be conservative in stretching the fuel they have and waste no energy. They had learned to pace themself in the flow of slow, thereby maximizing a day’s progress. This usually meant moving through trees at a speed of 13 feet per minute. This of course was interrupted by regular rest breaks.
Yinney was now well into his second day of moving in just this way. The morning hours had long passed when he first heard the sound. But what was it? The sound of someone crying? He was not sure, but turned in that direction. Another twenty minutes later he arrived at the source. His sloth ninja movements had kept him unnoticed by the one he spotted below, someone obviously in distress. It was a capybara.
Yinney decided to make contact, after all, the capybara were peace-loving as himself. Perhaps they could have fellowship? He would tell the capybara of his 7th Day Tree next to the lagoon, a place of fellowship for all. But first he must inquire of the source of the large rodent’s sadness, for it was very clear the capybara was indeed weeping.
Yinney was now directly above the grieving beast, but still unseen. He decided it was best to simply make himself known and offer his help. “Hello, friend. Are you in pain?”
The capybara was so lost in grief it was not even startled by a voice suddenly coming from above. For one thing, predators did not come with kind words, but with slashing claws and sharp teeth!
“Oh! Your a sloth! No wonder I did not see or hear you,” the large Amazon rodent said while making a great effort to contain his weeping and regain composure, but the effort was only somewhat successful, when Yinney asked his next question.
“What is the source of you grief, friend?”
“My friend…my friend…my friend…” and he cried some more before finally adding, “he was murdered by that predator, Jag! Jag ripped him to shreds and feasted on his body! He left his carcass for others. He bragged of slaughtering my friend, and what a delight he was to feast upon. My friend is dead, and I miss him. There is no justice. His life was snuffed out by a thoughtless killer. All he wanted to do was graze in peace.”
Yinney managed to find a lower limb and moved closer to the grieving capybara who had lost a special friend. “There is nothing that can take away the pain you feel. Your friend is honored in your grief. You show yourself a true friend.”
Yinney said little after that. He stayed close and let the capybara talk as much, or as little as he felt, until finally a peace began to fall over him.
“My name is Capy,” he finally shared, his voice weak from so much emotion.
“Hi, Capy. I’m Yenny. I’m so sorry for your loss.”
A gentle conversation began between them as Capy maintained some control. He knew of the reputation of sloths being great spiritual teachers, and began asking more about faith and an afterlife.
“Is my friend still alive somewhere? Will I see him again, someday?”
“From the moment of conception we never cease to exist,” Yinney answered. “Soul is eternal. This is why we focus on the soul, not the flesh. These are things we teach. Jesus taught us to lay up treasures in heaven, not upon this earth, where sooner or later we must say good-bye. Did your friend have knowledge of ‘The Great Way’?”
“I cannot say for sure, but he spoke of an eagle who once taught him things very similar to what you say. I think I would like to learn more of this way you speak of, and the Fellowship. What is the name again?”
“Fellowship of the 7th Day”, Yinney answered, and further explained, “We are not confined to any time or place to have Church. We are having it right now. Jesus had Church all the time, and everywhere he went. My 7th Day Tree is simply where I live and can be found most of the time, but as you see, I also love house calls. I just can’t get there very fast, being a sloth and all.”
They both chuckled about that. Then Yinney dropped on down to the ground and spent some time explaining to Capy about the All-Creator, his Son, the Holy Spirit, and how God came to man through the Hebrew people, and the Book they wrote of the experience.
Capy could not get enough, he was so hungry to know more. He was at such a point in his life, with the sudden loss of his friend. He made sure he understood where the 7th Day Tree was before Yinney finally climbed back into the trees and slowly ascended out of sight into the canopy of green. Yinney was happy. Fellowship had connected. Community could grow, and maybe something could also be done to alert the peaceful when predators are around.