Sunday, July 23, 2006

Thoughts after the Galapagos

I'm back from a ten day trip to the Galapagos Islands. This bird is a blue footed booby, beginning his mating dance by lifting his foot for a partner. We saw hundreds of these exquisite birds, along with pelicans, herons, egrets, finches, and mocking birds. I swam with sea lions and great tortoises, and we sea kayaked in some of the most peaceful places on earth. I felt graced and grateful every day.

The animals on the Galapagos Islands are not afraid of humans -- they haven't been hurt by us so they welcomed us to share their space for a little while. How sharply that contrasted with the news bulletins from the Middle East in the past two weeks. I wrote many sermon passages in my mind.

There was both bad news and good news for sexual rights while I was on vacation. The House voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment. The Senate voted 63 to 37 to expand federally funded embryonic stem cell research, and then the President vetoed it. The House released a report that said that the vast majority of federally funded "pregnancy resource centers" lie to women about the side effects of abortion procedures, and the FDA approved a new implantable contraceptive method. The President decideded to give an impromptu neck rub to the German Prime Minister to her obvious dismay.

Right now, I'm missing the blue heron and the blue footed booby and days that asked me to do nothing but pay attention to the wonders of creation. I'll start commenting on the world again tomorrow. For now, think about what your life would be if no one had ever hurt you.


Matt H said...

I really appreciate these thoughts, and am glad you experienced such blessings on your vacation. You'll hear more from me soon!

Lynda Bluestein said...

I am so glad you were able to be in the Galapagos. This was the most spiritual travel Paul and I have ever done and I have never gotten out of my head wondering how different the world would be if no one had ever experienced being prey - emotionally or physically.
Can't wait to hear the sermons. Lynda