“Are you a spiritual teacher?” Bubba suddenly asked.
“I hear you are, too,” Yinney answered.
Bubba sat back on the limb and his demeanor became one of great interest. “Have you come to ask questions about Buddhism?”
“I have come seeking a table of fellowship,” Yinney answered. “I would like to have conversations concerning Buddhism and Christianity ‘IF’ …we can do so in an atmosphere of ‘fellowship’. In my faith ‘fellowship’ determines everything. If we can talk and share, while maintaining an atmosphere of peace and love, a true desire of knowing each other, and respect, then our conversations could bear great fruit. But if we cannot do so in such respect, if fellowship is not possible and it becomes a battle of pride, then I will take my leave, for I do not seek such things. I offer mutual respect and conversation about our favorite subjects, and to seek understanding.”
“Bubba was silent for a while, obviously in deep thought about this sloth, before asking, “And what is your faith?”
“I am a follower of Jesus the Christ and the Hebrew scriptures,” he answered.
By this time several monkeys were hanging around. The verbal drama playing out before them was the most interesting thing going on.
“I have also studied Hebrew scriptures,” Bubba said, “and we believe the Prophet Jesus was a great teacher. He is highly respected by one and all. But does not your scriptures ask, what fellowship can light have with darkness?”
“Indeed it does,” Yinney confirmed, “and if we descend into darkness I will take my leave, as I have said, but ‘fellowship and mutual respect’ is not darkness, it is light. It is sought by my faith. Some religious people push a temple, not a table. They constantly press you to come to their Church building, but I say we have Church right here. I say every action we take should be a form of Church.”
“Hhmmm,” Bubba said as he rubbed his chin. “You are different. Perhaps we could test this thing you say. I too, have no desire for battle. I am peace loving even as the Buddha taught. My ways are simple, and I do enjoy good conversation about eternal things. Perhaps we should do this?”
“We already are,” Yinney revealed with a smile. Bubba’s eyes lit up, and slowly it began, that deep laughter rolling upward out of his soul! And then all the other monkeys began leaping about and cheering! Something new, something of great interest had come to their grove of rubber trees! This would provide much entertainment for one and all, the “Conversations of Bubba and Yinney”! There would be much to think about. Boredom was broken this day, as something new had come!
“So…how does this work?” Bubba asked. “Can this nice fat limb be our table?”
“It most certainly can,” Yinney answered.
“It is done then. We shall have spiritual conversation in an atmosphere of mutual respect! Are you thirsty, my very slow friend?”
“Yes, a drink would be nice,” Yinney answered.
Bubba motioned to another monkey, asked if he would be so kind to bring some drinks, the monkey hurried off and soon returned with a pitcher of juice, two cups, and some green leaves. He set them on the limb between them, and then leaped away to hang by his tail and listen.
“Oh this is very nice. Thank you,” Yinney said. “I have been on a six day journey seeking community in the neighborhood. I only recently chose my 7th Day Tree and became a part of this area.”
“I am aware of your need to be at the same tree every seven days,” Bubba said. “It sure presents a great danger for your kind.”
“Yes, it does. Our greatest danger. But also a great honor to bless the tree in such a way.”
Bubba watched the sloth slowly reaching for the cup of juice. He wondered how many drinks he could take before Yinney even took one? So far he was up to three, but who was counting?
“So how much time do you have before you must leave?”
The cup had finally reached the sloth’s lips. Yinney was parched and the juice was so good as he savored it. And he did savor it.
Bubba patiently waited, somewhat amused and amazed. The other Howler monkeys whispered in each other’s ears, and one began timing the sloth on his watch! The crowd around Bubba’s rubber tree had grown tremendously as word spread through the trees of the jungle like wild fire.
“Ahhhh,” Yinney finally said, “That juice is so good! I have the remainder of this day I can spend with you. Tomorrow morning I must leave, but if we have good fellowship, I will return as God allows. And you must visit me, too. My 7th Day Tree stands at this end of the lagoon.”
“very good,” Bubba said. “Everyone knows the lagoon you speak of, much like this grove of rubber trees is known. How did you learn of us?”
“Do you know a spider monkey named, Kujo?”
“Haaaa!” Bubba laughed! “I certainly do! So he has not been swallowed by an anaconda yet? Haaa! I love it when he tells me I’m just an accident. He is such a sad monkey. I don’t think I’ve ever heard him laugh.”
“That is sad,” Yinney agreed, “not to laugh.”
And so it was that Yinney became known in a grove of rubber trees as he sought fellowship with Bubba and whoever so desired. Communion was the heart of our Lord. He always had kind words for the lost and the hurting. He sat at tables with sinners and shared food, but he spoke very hard to the religious! And when he spoke in their big temples, his words so infuriated them, they would run him out!
This was the beginning of a friendship of respect between Bubba and Yinney, and many deep conversations.
“So what does your holy Word say about ‘karma’?” Bubba asked.