Time to Wake Up

Lea can tell some hair raising stories of my sleepwalking experiences. I once stumbled out of bed to stop an intruder. (She should be glad I’m so vigilant!) I once was convinced there was a spider in the bed. (I don’t think she slept for a week after that.) The most legitimately frightening sleepwalking episode happened at her parents’ house. I managed to navigate a flight of stairs and put several logs into the wood burning stove. She found me asleep on the couch the next morning. Everyone was really upset about it, but the house was nice and warm. Apparently I talk in my sleep too. Lea has a fun time asking me questions when I’m asleep. She has discovered she needs to keep it pretty simple though or I’ll get agitated and wake up.

If you’ve ever had an experience with a sleepwalker, you know it can be pretty creepy. There’s a semblance of life… a body moving, a mouth talking, eyes open. But there’s no consciousness there. Sometimes we can start to be like that in our spiritual life. It may happen so gradually we don’t even realize it. Are you sleepwalking through your relationship with God? Praying rote words without thinking, singing without processing? Are you saying “good morning” and “how are you?” and “I’m fine” without any interest in your fellow Christians? Are you tuning out the sermon, thoughtless in communion? Do you leave God at church because he has no place in your everyday life? If you are sleepwalking, it’s time to wake up.


When the Big Protect the Small

This week I watched one of those online “viral videos” I typically try to avoid. This one featured a humpback whale so I really couldn’t resist. The video told the story of Nan Hauser, a marine biologist studying whales in the south Pacific. During a dive, she encountered a humpback whale who, instead of swimming past, swam straight toward her. For about ten minutes this whale hustled her along, constantly trying to tuck her under his pectoral fin. Nan Hauser thought she would certainly die. When she was able to surface and swim back toward her boat, she observed another humpback whale repeatedly slapping the water with his tail. She realized the whale was slapping at a shark which was swimming in her direction! All ended well. Through the combined efforts of the two enormous whales, a tiny human in a vast ocean was saved.

Humpback whales are known to be altruistic, often intervening to protect sea life from danger. Humans, created in God’s image, are  created to be altruistic as well. Paul reminds us in Galatians 5:14, “The entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Let us always remember that humans with big, powerful voices must never hesitate to use those voices to protect the defenseless.