Monastery Reflection #2: Cries

"And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard it,
 and the household of Pharaoh heard it."
Genesis 45:2

I've only heard a few people in my life wail. It's a sound I'll never forget. I hope to never hear those kinds of cries again. However, the more I connect myself to this world I find myself in, the more I realize how impossible that will be.

Last week, I wrote about my monastery trip. I wrote about the peaceful tranquility that I experienced there, as the photo below illustrates. What I didn't mention, is how it ended.  Peaceful is hardly the word I'd use.


I had never been around sheep before. The first thing I noticed was how they communicated with each other. The lambs would call out to their mother and when the mother heard, she would call out to her lamb who would then follow her voice until she reunited with mom. Each had it's own call and each knew the call of their loved one.

And then, something went horribly wrong for them. On day two of my stay there, we heard a sound that we hadn't heard before. Though I had no previous experience with sheep before, I recognized this new noise as one of distress. The monks had separated the lambs from the sheep for tagging and medical care, and upset hardly captures the sound they were making.

They wailed. The lambs cries went unanswered, and their confusion could be felt in the air. My heart went out to them. Anyone who knows me knows that I am not the animal rights activist kinda person, but I could not help feeling like I wanted to help them in some way. They wailed all night. So much so that I had to use the fan in my room just to drown them out so I could get some sleep.


So many are crying, wailing, in our world today. So many more are looking for ways to drown them out. Others are looking for ways to answer the cries. Which one are you? I have been all three at various times in my life.

1 comment:

  1. I've never heard that sound, but your post reminded me of what cattle feedlot farmers call the baby calves they receive off the truck to feed until they're of an age to send them off to slaughter -- "bawling calves" -- because they are separated from their nursing mothers and herded onto a truck. I haven't heard that sound, either, but just the story has made me swear off eating beef.

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