Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Titus the Armadillo almost lost his freedom last night. Maybe the fear it caused and the work it took for him to break out of this Armadillo Jail drove home the point. Maybe that was enough. Maybe Titus will stay out of my backyard. I hopse so. I fixed the bent and broken aluminum trap, and then took it into the attic and put it away. Even though it was a safe catch and release trap, the armadillo wouldn't lose his freedom tonight - even if just for a few hours - because of me. He would have to choose that himself.
This evening a friend of mine told me some sad news. I couldn't stop thinking about it. This is the first time I've ever seen tears in her eyes. It was heartbreaking to see her heart breaking. Later, when I got home, I tried reading to put it out of my mind. I came upon an article called 'Thinking About Freedom' by Robert LeFevre from back in 1983. I've appropriated and contextualized it the questions that follow.
If an armadillo stalks into someone's backyard and lightning strikes well manicured Bradford Pear tree which falls on the armadillo, pinning him to the ground, has the armored beastie lost his freedom? No, he has lost his mobility, although some would call it ... justice. He is still free in the sense that his plight arises between himself and the laws of nature.
If an armadillo is cornered in the someone's backyard by a hungry lion, has the armored demon lost his freedom? No. He is merely confronting a hostile manifestation of nature, although some would call it ... justice. His battlefield is one ordained by nature - through a choosing of his own.
If an armadillo is felled by a virus and ends up flat on his back in a beautiful hedgerose flowerbed, has he lost his freedom? No, his health is imperiled. Although some would call it ... justice, he is still free. Again, the arena is a natural one - the armadillo doing what Nature intended for him to do.
If an armadillo chooses drugs over the beautiful wife he promised to love and to cherish, hasn't he already lost more than his freedom? Hasn't he lost everything?