Ravening Wolves, Swine, Dogs, Sheep, Serpents, and Doves
Ann Bendall, Nambour, Australia
Jesus did not pull any punches in his analogies, similes and metaphors about us humans. We were seen as lambs and sheep, whilst underneath we were "ravening wolves." (1571) And this is the man who "could help men so much because he loved them so sincerely. He truly loved each man, each woman, and each child. He could be such a true friend because of his remarkable insight--he knew so fully what was in the heart and in the mind of man. He was an interested and keen observer. He was an expert in the comprehension of human need, clever in detecting human longings."(1874 ).
The only way he can love us so sincerely, is to separate our behaviour from our individuality. It decidedly upsets my ego to think that I, a much beloved child of God, at the same time can be a "swine!" And then I remind myself that Jesus looks upon me in terms of my "possibilities in time and in eternity."(1727). I cannot deny that often my behaviour and attitudes are decidedly piggish and unbecoming for a child of God. Actually, the more I strive to become as God would wish me, the more painfully aware I am of sharing my being with the wolves and swine of my animal heritage. I guess it is all part of the painful and disappointing process that I, as an experiential being, must grow through and beyond.
Occasionally I stop reflecting on my being and toddle out into the world. And there I meet lots of brothers and sisters who look decidedly like kindred pigs and wolves. So many people trying so very hard to be animals, and a considerable percentage appearing to be so adept that they deserve to be nominated for the Oscar award of Swine of the Year. Do I greet them as a swine, a wolf or as a possibility--a child of God? My choice depends upon whether I wish to place emphasis on our animal heritage or our human potential.
I refuse to be a swine or a wolf at any time, in any way! I want to be at all times, in every way, what the universe sees me as, what Jesus and my Thought Adjuster, know I am--a child of God. And, despite their best performances, I refuse to regard any person I meet in any other way than as the image I have--they are, like me--children of God. Like the apostles, I have learned from Jesus (through The Urantia Book) that "many souls can best be led to love the unseen God by being first taught to love their brethren whom they can see." (1727). And so I pray I can be true to my Master knowing that, "Inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of my brethren, you did it to me."(1727)
Therefore it is of paramount importance to not base a relationship upon like-minded swine playing in the mud of life, but as baby God children striving to grow, love and understand each other. I and my brother/sister can philosophize about what a dog's life it is, but does this really help either of us to grow? Pity does not help them or me! (1874).
"You have heard it said: 'If the blind lead the blind, they both shall fall into the pit.' If you would guide others into the kingdom, you must yourselves walk in the clear light of living truth. In all the business of the kingdom I exhort you to show just judgment and keen wisdom. Present not that which is holy to dogs, neither cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample your gems under foot and turn to rend you."(1571)
If I can truly model myself on Jesus, there is a chance that my decidedly swine/wolf like brother/sister may see the reflection of their personality in my eyes and start to believe in the possibility that they can become the real, unique personality which is their birth right. Perhaps I can sympathize with them, just like Jesus would in a "practical, personal, and constructive" manner. (1874) We could discuss any problems which might arise with their loved ones if they decide to be a little more human and a little less animal. How they might be a bit lonely for a while, and feel decidedly uncomfortable; how all their friends might complain about the difference; how they much preferred them being pigs to being humans; how they knew where they stood with a pig, whereas life with a human is confusing. We could talk about how change, even if it is for the better, is uncomfortable simply because it is new. We could discuss ways to strengthen my new friend's resolve when the pull of the environment was strong and looked very much like a piggery. If I believe in my friend, as Jesus believes in all of us, just maybe they will believe in themselves; and then, as a human, recently a swine, they may become so comfortable being a human rather than an animal, that they will be able to encourage others to give being a human a try.
I believe that I must understand the individual, how they came to believe that they were swine; how they came to choose being a ravening wolf as preferable to being human. But understanding does not mean condoning. Such animalistic emulation is unseemly for a God child, and must not be affirmed. If their behaviour is piggish, I must recognize same. If they wish to play me being Little Red Riding Hood and them the star of the show dressed in Grannie's gear, then I must toss away the little red cloak and become a serpent/dove.
And so I am a sheep/lamb (1800), with the ability to be a serpent at the same time as I am to be a dove (1584;1800), whilst all the time being a little God-child. Like Thomas, I would have been confused by what appeared to be contradictory instructions, were it not for the fact that I am privy to both Thomas' confusion and Jesus reply. (1585) In the spiritual sense, in my relationship with God and Michael, I must toss away all the illusion of being a grown up