Pastoral Ponderings: All in the Circle

A bit of a reminder about being connected

One of our summer children’s programs this year featured stories with the theme of “rock.”

This story for all ages, inspired by Genesis and The Lion King, reminds us that we are all connected, all equally a part of creation from the beginning. We need reminding.

It goes like this:

In the beginning, the Bible says, there was nothing until God began creating. And then there was light and dark, day and night, land and water and air, trees and grass, animals for the land, fish for the sea and birds for the air and people who could enjoy the wonder and beauty of all that was. And in the Bible story, it says that it took six days. Six very busy days.

After God had created, on the seventh day God took a break and had a well deserved rest. On the eighth day, God called a meeting. God invited everyone to come to one place, a Great Big Rock that stuck out of the ground and they all gathered round it in a big circle and they called it the Great Big Rock.

All living things were there – Eve and Adam, the first humans, the animals, the insects, the fish even came into the rivers near the rock. The trees, the grass and the flowers all leaned in a little closer. Even the oceans came as a light rain on the edge of the circle, which meant that everyone got a refreshing shower because everyone was equal in the circle.

And God told them that everyone belonged to everything the light touched and everything the light touched belonged to everyone.

A unicorn said “how can everything belong to everyone and everyone to everything?”

And everyone and everything looked at the unicorn.

“Shhh,” said a zebra, who secretly wished he had a horn like the unicorn, “God’s talking.”

And a bunch of monkeys all went “shh shh shh.”

But God said, “no, it’s good to ask questions and think about things for yourself. And that,” God said, looking right at the unicorn, “is a good question.”

“God’s pet,” mumbled a goat, who secretly found the unicorn’s sparkly-ness annoying. And a few other goats agreed and bleeted their support.

“Listen,” said God, “we are all connected. Through me, through creation, there is a power that ties us together. That power is love. When love is shared, we are all made better, we all grow, we all live, fully in every way. The love lives in each of you. I,” said God emphatically, “I live in you.”

All the animals made their respective noises as if they understood. But, in fact, they didn’t and they didn’t want God to be disappointed in them, so they said nothing. All except …

“Um, unicorn here again,” piped up the unicorn. “Cool, cool, cool. So what you’re saying is that all us animals, the fish, the birds, the reptiles and the humans, we need to be respectful of each others’ needs and care for each other then?”

God said “yes – and thanks for your question again,” because God knew that the others didn’t understand and the unicorn was the only one bold enough to ask. “But it’s more than that. It’s everything as well as everyone. All things are connected in me. I am in this rock where you stand. As long as you respect it and care for it, it will care for you.”

Everyone looked wisely at the Great Big Rock sticking out of the ground and nodded as if they understood. They all murmured their thanks to God and said “great, thanks God, we’ll take it from here” and they all tried to move closer to the Great Big Rock, hoping to feel its power for themselves.

All except that same unicorn. The unicorn said “wait a minute. How can we all be connected through that Great Big Rock? Guys! Hey guys, I don’t think God meant that Great Big Rock, I think God meant the Earth. I think the earth is the rock on which we stand. Guys?”

But everyone was too busy trying to get closer to the Great Big Rock. There was pushing and shoving and grunting and mooing and barking and growling and no one could hear the unicorn or God’s last words: “listen to the unicorn ….”

Suddenly the lion let out a great roar and all the others stepped back and were silent.

“Wait everyone!” said lion. He had heard the unicorn. “I think the unicorn is right. The unicorn is wise, and probably delicious, but most certainly wise: God didn’t mean this one rock, God meant the rock which is the earth that we live on, the world we live in. Everyone and everything exists in a delicate balance. That’s how we’re connected.”

Lion’s young cub ran up and sat next to him. “But dad, don’t we eat other animals, like the antelope?”

“Yes,” said lion, “but only what we need and then, when we die, our bodies feed the grass that those animals eat. It’s like that song, it’s The Circle of Life.”

“And God’s part of that?” said the young cub.

“You bet,” said lion. “Let’s ask the unicorn.”

And the lion looked for the unicorn, but couldn’t see them anywhere. Everyone looked for the unicorn, but they were gone. “Anyone seen the unicorn?” said lion.

“Unicorn?” said another lion, “I thought it was an antelope.”

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