Archive for September 14th, 2007

Torn Raccoon


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I was driving in my car and listening to the local evangelical radio station. Someone was interviewing a Muslim, a foreign born Arab, who had converted to Christianity. This fellow had been responsible for running a prison mosque and apparently had quite a dramatic conversion experience.

He talked of a vision in which he saw all the world’s sin and suffering. This image drove him to tears and drove him to Christ as well. I am ashamed to say that at this point I became skeptical. His story sounded so melodramatic that I suspected that it was contrived. Besides, his vision seemed exaggerated – the sort one reserved for Christ or the saints.

Rounding a bend I confronted a grisly sight. Strewn across the middle of the road lay a gruesome mess, a small animal cut exactly in two, the double yellow lines of the highway running perfectly between the bloody red halves of the poor creature. It was, or had been , a raccoon, the distinctive striped tail and masked eyes quite visible even at 40 miles per hour.

This sadly grotesque image is a sight so familiar that I usually take it for granted. Today it struck me; the elements of this picture are not much different from what many on this war-wracked world see daily. Except that those horribly mutilated and brutally eviscerated bodies are of men, women and children. Husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, children… babies.

I don’t know if the timing was coincidence or not. But now I can understand how maybe this Arab gentleman had seen enough violence and sorrow in his life so that his vision was not at all fantastic. Perhaps my sense of security, this safety I so nonchalantly enjoy, blinds me to the world’s awful reality.

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