I just came in from holding puppies at the pet shop. It’s a sure-fire elixir for my heart when world-weariness demands a quick pick-me-up. And just between you and me, when there’s no pet store handy I sometimes fall into looking at puppies online or watching reruns of “The Dog Whisperer” on Netflicks. Old friends marvel at this change that’s come over me after years of a skinny-hearted religion that had no serious room for animals.
Who doesn’t delight in the stories of Saint Francis preaching to birds, or leading the village’s terrorizing wolf into repentance? As certainly as the human heart longs for beauty and redemption, it dreams of a garden where man and beast live together in loving trust and harmony. Eons before National Geographic turned it into a TV series the Dog Whisperer was scripted into our hearts by a loving Father. “So the Lord God formed from the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would call them and the man chose a name for each one.” (Genesis 2:19). Our good Father gave pets to Adam and invited his Son to name them. “Fill the earth and govern it”. (That’s kingdom language.) “Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.” (Genesis 1:28). We were created to love the animal world, to train our furry friends, and to bring them into their full potential.
Before Cesar Millan, (the “Dog Whisperer”), was Saint Francis; Before Francis was Adam; And before Adam was Yahweh dreaming of a Kingdom, and writing His dream in our hearts. Those little fellows at the rescue shelter? They’re anticipating the Kingdom, too!
Only a few years ago most of us had never heard of, much less seen a “flash crowd”. These seemingly impromptu extravaganzas where singers, dancers, and musicians emerge from nowhere and thrill shoppers and travelers with their gifts have taken YouTube by storm. From the Hallelujah Chorus at Macy’s to Do-re-Mi in the Antwerp Train Station, it’s a wonderful new art form that infuses the ordinary with magic. And for those with holy vision, we must ask, “Why? What primal chord is being struck in our hearts by a flash crowd?”
As I watched a video recently the Spirit gave me a “flash-revelation”: We humans love these things because they’re a near perfect reflection of the Kingdom scripted into our hearts by the Creator. Here’s how:
- Flash crowds inject order into chaos and wonder into the mundane. One moment you’re jostling with Christmas shoppers and the next you’re enveloped by an Opera Company singing Handel. That’s the Kingdom! The Messiah walks onto the scene and all our randomness is swallowed-up into meaning: the blind see, the lame leap for joy, relationships are restored, the hungry are fed, mourners rejoice, and the oppressed are set free.
- Flash crowds begin small, (often with a single person), and pull others into a growing movement that changes everything: a giant choir, a full orchestra, a huge dance movement. How like the mustard-seed Kingdom which begins with the smallest of seeds, and overtakes the whole garden with living joy.
- Flash crowds validate People. Each dancer, each part of the orchestra has a distinct and vital part to play. It’s the same in the Kingdom, where each one has a part, and every part becomes more truly himself as he discovers and fills his place in the Whole.
- Flash crowds invite people in: If you know the song, then join us! Don’t know the words? Then hum along, tap your feet, or just revel in the camaraderie. The welcome is for everyone! Amateurs? Professionals? The simple? The seasoned? You have a place! You only need to lay down your own agenda and begin trusting and following the Conductor! Everyone together now: “Hal-le-lu-jah!”
PS: If you skip the ad, you can see what I mean right here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbJcQYVtZMo)