Torn Raccoon


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.

  1. #1 by John Shore on September 15, 2007 - 1:49 am

    Wonderful piece. Thanks for it.

  2. #2 by rogueminister on September 15, 2007 - 8:36 am

    It absolutely does.

    There is an Andrew Peterson song that says something to the affect of “Im just a little jealous of the nothing that you have, because your unfettered by the wealth of a world we pretend is going to last.” We get so caught up in our own comfort and we stay so far removed from the sufferings of most of the world that not only miss out on the realites of the world we miss out on many aspects of God and His blessings as well.

  3. #3 by Steve on September 15, 2007 - 10:04 am

    Is it a western societal thing or is it a condition of man, that we are blind to suffering until it’s thrust upon us? great piece, Christian.

  4. #4 by Rob on September 15, 2007 - 12:43 pm

    Your post reminded me of Genesis 15. The animals are cut in half, placed on either side of a walk-way. The parties, in the covenant ratification, would walk between the animal pieces, in effect saying, “If I break this treaty or this covenant, let it be unto me as it is with these animals.” Interesting that God put Abraham to sleep and walked through the torn animals himself (fulfilled on the cross).

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