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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Wild things

Article on the front page of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune this morning tells of a Mexican Gray Wolf at the Minnesota Zoo that escaped its enclosure by squeezing between two panels of a chain link fence, then jumping a second fence (eight feet high) to wander among the pedestrians. Zoo response teams quickly shot and killed the wolf.

I have more to say about this than I can possibly start with tonight. First of all, let me say I believe the zoo crew acted promptly and properly. When my kids were little, we went to see the Mexican Gray Wolves through the glass. One of them was about four, and she stood right next to the glass where a male was pacing back and forth two or three feet away. Suddenly the wolf lunged at my daughter, jaws open, head turned to the side, teeth right at the level of her exposed neck. It hit the glass -- hard -- a foot away from her throat. Shooting this wolf was the right thing to do.

But there's more here. Lots more. Why, for one thing, do we think we can take wild things out of the wild and make them objects for our entertainment? Wild things will always, always find a way out, or a way to make things much more complicated just to show you up. I could tell you story after story. Yet we try and try to domesticate animals that are not tame. This wolf was born in captivity, but he was a wild wolf at his core.

For another thing, did Jesus intend his church to be domesticated? Or is there supposed to be something a little wild, a little scary, about the church when it's functioning properly? Have we tamed it to our own damnation?

I'll leave you to think about that. I'm going off where the wild things are for a while.

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