Living in Harmony

Watching a wildlife program about Japan has inspired me.

The most northerly island, Hokkaido has the harshest climate of all the islands of Japan. The people who have settled there are farmers who grow cereals and flowers in the short summer. Fishermen harvest the rich sea before the cold of winter freezes it over.

In September the Pacific salmon begin to return to the rivers of Hokkaido to spawn. Black bears gather at the coast to feast on the fish that team in the river mouths. Fishermen who also collect the bounty of salmon, sit mending their nets. These men and bears live in harmony with each other. There is plenty of food for both. Often a mother bear is fiercely protective of her cubs, but there is no need to fear in Hokkaido.

The farmers have reclaimed marshland on the coastlands. They were once the feeding grounds of large, tall, white birds called the Red Crowned Cranes. To the Japanese they are symbols of beauty and long life. A century ago their numbers were reduced to thirty pairs. They were in danger of extinction. The farmers, who drained the cranes’s feeding areas, rescued the cranes by giving them grain through the winter when the ground is frozen. Their numbers have now grown to 1000. Here is another example of men and wildlife living in harmony. They co-exist in the harsh conditions.

These cranes are known most of all for their singing and dancing. When they gather in large numbers they put on a show. The enormous birds lift up their heads and raise a deep call from their throats. They pirouette, jump and flap their large wings. They don’t crash on the icy ground. Their performance reminded me of the ballet dancers I saw recently in “Giselle.” The male star leapt across the stage. The many ballerinas created an enchanting atmosphere with their movements in the second act.

The Red Crested Cranes are an example to us. They live in a cold, harsh environment. They could chose a more comfortable climate. Instead they flourish, dance and sing where they are meant to be. Their beauty, strength and endurance are to be admired. I am encouraged to lift up my voice and dance, like the cranes before the One who created me, even in the most difficult of situations. The psalmist calls us to praise Him. “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.” Psalm 150 like King David danced with all his might before the Lord when he brought back the Ark of the Lord.

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Suicide is Not Painless

I was on the last leg of our journey home from Bratislava yesterday evening.  We picked up our car from my daughter’s apartment.  I was driving from Belfast.  I was driving along Shaws bridge and pulled up at traffic lights.  
Brendan turned on the CD player.  A CD called Visions from K-tel, a compilation of movie songs was playing.  A song called Suicide is Painless started.  It was the sound track from a movie called MASH written in 1969.
I couldn’t believe my ears.  The words said 

That suicide is painless
It brings so many changes
And I can take or leave them if I please

The game of life is hard to play
I’m gonna lose it anyway
The losing card of some delay
So this is all I have to say

Words have power.  These words have power.
Just then I turned left after the traffic lights into a busy dual carriageway of traffic that was coming straight for me.  I took a wrong turn.  Thankfully some angels were protecting us from disaster.  The traffic slowed and gave me space to make a quick  U turn and escape.  I avoided suicide! 
I wonder what has been the fruit of the words of this song down through the years since it was written and played?  Has many people have come under the power of these words and committed suicide thinking it is painless? The writer, who was a fourteen year old boy, did not know what he was doing. Words have power.
Pain surrounds suicide.
My husband was alerted to pray for a friend many years back.  He felt the spirit of suicide come into his car as he drove home.  He rebuked the spirit of suicide in Jesus name.  He prayed against the spirit of suicide having any influence over his friend.
We later learned that our friend had tried to committed suicide that night by walking into a river.
Next day Brendan went to see him.  He has just taken some Gramoxine, a weed killer.  A second time he attempted suicide.  His daddy was dying in hospital and he was distraught.  He was taken to A and E where all the alarm bells went off.  The doctors said he would be dead in nine days.
We alerted others to pray for him.  God heard our prayers and healed him totally without any side effects.  Praise God.
Instead of being passive be careful what you listen to.  Words have power for good or evil.
Brendan turned off the CD!