One night a man heard strange noises coming from his fireplace and realized there was a raccoon up inside the chimney. He tried to remove the animal by himself but was unable to extricate it safely. He called the agencies he thought would help rid him of this problem but they would not come and assist him. He was left with what he thought was his only option: shoot it. So he did. A day later, he heard noises of a different kind emanating from the fireplace and realized that the now dead raccoon was a mother and there were babies in his chimney. Already in trouble with his wife for killing the mother, the man worked hard to retrieve the babies unharmed. Not knowing what to do with them, he searched the internet for someone local who could take over the care and feeding of both the babies, barely 48 hours old.
He found a local animal rescue and arranged to drop them off. The woman who received them informed the man that the chances of survival were very slim. She would do her best, she promised, but there is no adequate replacement for a mama raccoon. Even under her expert care, in concert with her veterinarian, the babies lived less than a week.
She put so much time and effort and energy working towards a goal that was not realized. And because she is a champion for injured and displaced animals, the loss of any life is hard for her. She could have stomped around, shaking her fist at heaven and joined the chorus of voices that seem to always be proclaiming, “It’s not fair!!”
But she didn’t.
Saddened and with calm grace, she spoke about how the experience taught her more than she knew before. She made notes and journal entries and documented all that had transpired. She was grateful for the opportunity and how it had expanded her capacity and understanding.
We can choose to join the world with its crescendoing mantra and focus on fair and on what we think we deserve in this life, or we can magnify the mercy given to us each and every day from a kind and loving Father in Heaven. We can be thankful for the myriad of awful things that could have happened to us and to those we love…but didn’t. We can choose to follow the admonition of Paul to the Thessalonians and “In every thing give thanks…”