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Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013
An Epiphany from NaturePosted Thursday, January 31, 2013, at 8:23 AM
Do you believe that nature can inspire an epiphany (major illuminating event)? I do, and here's why....
Back in the early 90's, I was struggling to get Walden's Puddle established. At that time my commitment to Walden's also required that I work several part-time jobs in order to fund it and feed myself. I was getting about 4 hours of sleep each night, and running on empty.
During one of my increasingly frequent crying jags, I was sitting under a tree outside the facility. I felt I could not go on any more. I noticed a little movement on the tree near my head. A katydid had just emerged from its hard shell and was drying itself off before it flew away.
It was one of the most beautiful things I had ever seen. The wings were translucent and shimmered with rainbow colors. The body was brilliant green. I watched in amazement and took note of all of the minute details and the intricacy which composed this little insect. An insect whose chief mission in life was to be a food source for something else.
I left that encounter thinking....if God could go to this much trouble for an insect, He most assuredly would take care of me, made in His own image.
My second epiphany came a little later on, when it appeared that Walden's was going to make it. Major donors were interested in helping out, but many people were questioning why I thought they should give money when so many humans needed help. I began to question this myself, until the baby fox litter was brought in.
These four fox kits were about five weeks old and were discovered beside a dead mother. We didn't know what happened to the mother, and since the babies seemed healthy, we assumed she died of natural causes. Within three days the babies began to get sick, and one died. Two more died soon after and from the symptoms the veterinarian decided they had canine distemper. This is a horrible neurological disease with a high fatality rate. The first three had died quickly with no symptoms. We had high hopes that the fourth one would live.
One evening I noticed that the little fox was not doing well. It was not eating and had tremors. I knew then there would be no happy ending. The tremors began to lead to seizure activity. My heart ached, because I knew I was going to have to euthanize the baby, rather than let it suffer. I held it one last time and looked into its eyes. He looked back at me very calmly, pleadingly, and I felt as if I was staring into the eyes of Jesus. Truly. A reminder that we are charged by God to oversee His creatures.
Have you ever been changed by Cod's creations?
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Vicky Carder is a Shelbyville native. In 1991 she founded Walden's Puddle Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Nashville. There she served as Executive Director for more than 12 years. The Center is the largest wildlife hospital in Middle Tennessee. She has published in wildlife national and international journals. Now she wants to share her knowledge of native wildlife and some of the experiences she had while working with wildlife.