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The Fifth Day of Christmas

December 29, 2019

We went to the Denver Zoo today with the boys. The rest of the family has safely made it back home to Virginia, California, and North Alabama. It was a day to relax and enjoy. I was struck by a number of things as we wandered about the zoo. First of all, so many of the residents are on the endangered species list for a wide variety of reasons.

Did you know that in the Congo, the big companies who are responsible for the ransacking of the rain forests find it easier to give their workers ammunition so they can “feed themselves” instead of feeding them? Who suffers? The animals who live in those areas. Ecosystems are being destroyed because of humankind’s lack of forethought or concern about the environment or the workers!

The Penguins above were enjoying a swim in the cold temperatures. Yet so many of the animals were huddled indoors for the winter in small shelters because the cold and snow aren’t their natural environment.

I am grateful that places like the Denver Zoo are able to keep some species off of the extinct list. I am also thankful that they are building new habitats for their animals that give room and a better environment. As I reflect this evening on this experience and on the fifth day of Christmas, I also turned to Howard Thurman’s writings.

Today in Bruce Epperly’s book, The Work of Christmas, I read about the Shepherds and the message of the Angels. In the midst of the turmoil of that time, a message was shared with the Shepherd who were not the elite of society. Yet to them was given the angelic message of hope and beauty in the midst of the drudgery of life.

I wish that there was a way to share such beauty with our neighbors at the Denver Zoo. I did watch two young women who work at the Zoo giving medicine to the Ring-Tailed Lemurs. They talked to each one and there was definitely a bond. Relationship and beauty were present. even in the midst of the zoo!

These words of Thurman’s reveal the beauty that was the song of the angels in the midst of the dreariness of the Shepherd’s world.

Despite all the crassness of life, despite all the harshness of life, life is saved by the singing of angels.

I saw beauty and wonder in the midst of it all today with my neighbors at the zoo.

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