In a recent email communication circulated by Rev. Lei Lanni Burt, a heart-warming news story was shared with those who have asked to remain connected to her after taking various prayer chaplain training sessions she has held across the country. The story was so moving and timely that it needed to be shared.
I was surprised then, when following up on the citations of the email, to discover this first successful attempt on the West Coast to free an entangled humpback whale - happened almost a decade ago - the article written by Peter Fimrite.
But the reason this story is so timely is that our nation is right now in a crisis involving trust. Our government is tangled in a "spider web of crab traps and lines" and all its struggles seem only to tighten the bonds and gouge the hooks deeper. We are in need of a rescue.
Our legislators seem to have become entangled in rhetoric, innuendo and stubborn one-sightedness.... maybe that's even one-sidedness. The population of our nation has become the pots and flotsam that has gathered around the tangled lines. We cannot be loosened from the lines because we have unwittingly become the stuff and fabric of those very communications.
We've all heard the statement: "If you are not a part of the solution, you are a part of the problem." According to R. Scheer, the original statement is attributed to Eldridge Cleaver in a speech he made in 1968:
"What we're saying today is that you're either part of the solution or you're part of the problem."
That's where our nation stands today.
But we do have the power to rescue this whale of a situation in Washington. We can contact our representatives and let them know:
We have faith in those that we elected
- to work honestly with each entangled line of communication;
- to delicately separate each issue and handle it effectively; and
- to carefully and dedicatedly pull the barbs from the flesh of each idea so that
clear eyes and clear thinking can see all the laws passed that need to be passed.
We recognize the strength and power of our elected officials
- to do the legislative work they were trained and chosen to accomplish;
- to release their anger and stubbornness and stand in their own beliefs; but
- to be strong enough to truly listen to others with an open mind so that
true consensus can be reached even if not every one sees personal fulfillment.
We trust the intentions of our leaders to be light-filled and focused on the good of all
- to hold "content of our character" as the measure of another;
- to remember that all are created equal -- regardless of any perceived differences;
- to place first in mind - the good of the country before any individual desires.
In the Whale Rescue story, the divers spent over four hours cutting through over half a ton of rope and crab pots wrapped around her midsection and tail. James Moskito was the one who worked on the cruel hook embedded in the humpback's mouth. He related how trusting the whale behaved, that
"its eye was there winking at me, watching me."
And when it realized it was freed from all entanglements, instead of flipping and "high-tailing" out of there, this grateful creature went around to each and every one of the divers and nuzzled a thank-you. Stop there and imagine that experience.
Expressed gratitude can be amazing for the one expressing it as well as the one receiving it. There is a spiritual energy that is wrapped around a true thankful expression - a relief, a release and a freeing in just letting go of the heavy pressure of obligation. When you have been given something unexpectedly, could you hold back the thank-you? It would become a burden of unexpressed gratitude, weighing you down..... but most of us, in receiving - feel the blessing immediately and simply must express it.... just as the whale did - gently and lovingly bestowing a caress on each of her rescuers.
Moskito continued his thoughts. "I never felt threatened. It was an amazing, unbelievable experience."