“They tell me that all dogs were once wolves,” Yinney began, and all fell silent. “One day a wolf decided he would give up his wild selfishness and would be meek and serve. He became a dog.”
Yinney looked around at the small group gathered at his 7th Day Tree. The macaws were doing a wonderful job of spreading the word about the Fellowship. Not only were the three macaws here, but also some howler monkeys from the rubber trees! Bubba the Buddhist had sent them to listen and learn, and then return to him and share, so he could consider and compare.
Another wonderful surprise was Cappy the capybarra! He was visiting for the first time and sat patiently on the ground looking up and listening. Yinney had moved lower in the tree for the sake of Cappy, and looked forward to talking more with him after the meeting.
It had been a couple days, but so far Tornado Turtle had not come around. Probably distracted by some glittering treasure somewhere, but he still hoped he would see her soon.
“We all know the loyalty of a good dog,” Yinney continued, ” and yet they use to live as wolves! Predators! What a picture of transformation, and making a different choice, not to live as a predator, but learn companionship, love, and devotion. The wild wolves are being slowly but surely exterminated. While the devoted and faithful dog is more and more inheriting the earth. Yes, we are teaching on the Beatitudes, and the Sermon on the Mount.”
“Our Creator came in the form of a man to fulfill what we could not, and teach us that it is not the predators who will inherit the earth, but the meek. Now in these parts, in our beautiful Amazon jungle, we know of Jag the jaguar, and how we must always be watching lest we be taken unaware. And many other predators of this jungle, meat-eaters, carnivores, who live after the hungers of their flesh, and think nothing of hurting others to satisfy their own desires. But our Creator has promised they will not inherit the earth, but are fit for destruction themselves. Their own predator ways will come back on them, reaping what they have sown.”
“All are welcome to this tree and in this fellowship as long as they continue in exactly that, fellowship. What a wonderful thing it is to have a community of unity. But this wonderful thing will only happen if we stay in a proper spirit, and for this we teach three foundational truths: The Lord’s Supper, The Lord’s Prayer, and The Lord’s Sermon. The Beatitudes as found in Matthew chapter 5 is the starting point of the Lord’s Sermon. It is the starting point, but the whole sermon revolves around what the Lord spoke in verse 48, when he said: ‘But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.’ “
“Does the thought of perfection scare you? A mark so high? A standard so impossible? Yes, impossible for us, but not God. So do not be afraid, just know that God from the beginning said he was taking us to perfection, that is our promised land. This is no new thing, and we have all eternity in Christ to reach it. The ability to fellowship without eating each other is part of our training in the perfecting. The early church knew this, and the early church fathers taught and practiced it,” he concluded with a smile, and then began the discussions. Church was just getting started.
Frank now understood he would no longer be a New York City cop. The damage to his spinal cord gave him about a fifty-fifty chance of being confined to a wheelchair. No one knew if he would walk again, but therapy was beginning soon. He was now officially retired from the force, and feeling lost. “What now?” he questioned. He really hoped he would at least walk again.
He had only been conscious a couple days. His partner, Sam, promised to help him anyway he could. Sam was a great guy. Their friendship would continue.
His sons were there for him too, and Rachel and her daughter, Clara. As a matter of fact, he thought he noticed his youngest son, Tommy, and Clara having a lot of private conversations over the past two days. What was that about, he wondered? But Tommy would be leaving soon to go back to his job, working on that road in the Amazon.
More than anything, he wondered about Rachel. Their relationship had began while he was strong, healthy, and still a cop. Would she want to marry a cripple? A man most likely too damaged to even carry her across the threshold? If he had any chance with her before, which he still did not know, did he have even less chance now? Was she constantly visiting him out of sympathy, and would eventually slowly fade out of his life as soon as she was sure he was going to be okay?
All these questions and more rolled around in his mind as he lay in the hospital bed with so many hours to ponder every little fear and negative thought. The view out his window was an ugly concrete wall only an alley away, with clouds and drizzle decorating. A new life lay ahead. The details and potential of that life he did not know. It certainly still had lots of possibilities, especially if Rachel was part of it. He hoped she was, even more than he hoped he walked again, and he really wanted to walk. Fight hard he would. Both to walk, and win Rachel’s love.