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Jeremiah 31:27-34

The days are difficult. We can point to the trouble of our times; they are many. With a broad brush we can, and often chime in with our “answer” to the tensions. A new or different political leader might be the start for some. But still yet for others it is a matter of giving a chance to the current leader (that is the current leader of any time), I am not calling out anyone specific although there might be reason to. Perhaps the next answer to our many woes would be to simply “go green.” If we recycled more and better and escaped our addiction to plastic… yes this is the problem. And still yet others jump on the band-wagon of violence and gun control. This, for sure is the problem of American society and if we can simply take guns from people or put them in the “right” hands, then… then we will find ourselves living toward goodness—the proper social order.

I few years back I worked at a small outdoor retail shop and in that time spent quite a bit of my moments in the shoe department. I enjoyed the shoe department, mostly because the people I worked with. We enjoyed our conversations that would happen behind the closed doors of the department, back with the stock. One particular conversation that I don’t fully remember its contents but do remember my response. I asked, If I was being snapped by a towel in the locker room, what would be my best defense? In retrospect, a towel and locker room might not be the best analogy for this, but its what came to me. My best defense is closeness. I am most protected by such a situation by getting close. I cannot be snapped by the towel if I am close. The tension lies here. If I am fearful, the last thing I intend is to get close. I keep my distance, which only gives space for the towel to gain momentum for its maximum velocity and effectiveness to take place. Stepping into the fear might be the best position for the de- escalation of social ills. This however is usually not the knee jerk reaction.

Remember the Disney Pixar movie Zootopia? The mayor was a Lion, a carnivore, and his assistant was a sweet little lamb, Ms Bellwether. Ms Bellwether, under her sweet little wool coat, had a secret plan. She had (to begin with) a fairly well orchestrated plan to over throw Mayor Lionheart by pitting the herbivores against the carnivores. It could be argued that she was driven by fear of the carnivores, who at this point in the film live in harmony with herbivores, but nonetheless. If you remember there are a few carnivores; Manchas, a black panther, Mr Otterton, an otter and others who, “go savage,” that is they reverted back to their animal instincts in which they were no longer civilized, they were again wild animals. There was a berry that would cause any animal to act in this manner when shot with a dart, we learned a bunny even act this way when shot. The sweet little sheep Bellwether was behind the entire thing.

In one particular scene between Bellwether and officer Hopps and [detective] Nick Wilde, who are investigating the disappearance of those who have gone savage, Bellwether declares the crux of the movie’s narrative, “fear always works!”