Wild Things

Praise the LORD from the earth, you sea monsters and all deeps; wild animals and all cattle, creeping things and flying birds! – Psalm 148:7, 10 (NRSV)

Listening to a 45 RPM vinyl as a child, I learned from the Irish Rovers why there are no unicorns in the world: they missed the boat when Noah set sail.

Despite the absence of unicorns, my belief in mythical creatures – in beasts beyond our imagination and beings beyond our discovery – has not been dissuaded. Somewhere in hidden caves, dragons still slumber. Far in the depths of the oceans, merpeople still sing. Oft-forgotten in the inhospitable desert mountains, manticores still roar and gnash their teeth.

But even the most threatening of these mythical creatures still owes its praise to the Most Terrible Mystery, to the Holy Force of life, to the Eternal Energy that loved in chaos long before it loved in creation.

The sea monsters honor God.

The unicorns and griffins bow before God.

The centaurs and basilisks pay homage to the One that is wilder than they are – the One wild enough to take on the risk of flesh and love.

To such a formidable chorus of adoration, the psalmist responds with an invitation: “Do the same, you rulers of earth and every citizen! Do the same, you youth and every elder! Join together and praise the Highest One!”

Let my praise not be intimidated by the roar of sea creatures. Let my joy not be shy before the beauty of unicorns. Let my adoration be unceasing before the wildness of the Word Made Flesh.

Small Group Discussion

dd-hackenberg.jpgAbout the Author
Rachel Hackenberg serves on the national staff for the United Church of Christ. She is the author of Writing to God and the co-author of Denial Is My Spiritual Practice, among other titles. Her blog is Faith and Water.