I saw something recently that made me want to investigate the word that came to mind, the Vulture. I found it interesting that a group of vultures sitting in trees waiting for a kill are called a “committee”, when they are feeding they are called a “wake”, when they are flying they are called a “kettle”. From the information I read vultures don’t usually attack healthy animals but will kill one that is wounded or sick. I guess the committee looks around and sees something that is taking its last breath, on its last legs so to speak and then they go and have themselves a wake.
There is a couple that I have seen around the neighborhood although they were never friendly enough to return a wave or speak in the grocery store when I saw them still they were a part of every day life. They worked in their yard and brought beautiful stones in to make a flower garden, where both of their ashes were scattered I might add, and she had a small house called a “Victoria’s Folly”, I don’t know why, where I assume she read or maybe did crafts, whatever she did it always intrigued me and I wished I could see the inside of it and further than that wished I had a little place of my own like that to slip into to read or write. The yard was really a picture with so many interesting things to look at as we rode by. This couple died this summer within about 6 weeks of each other and since they had no family or children had a friend that lives in another state that arrived to settle their estate. I have heard that she is going to let the property go back to the bank to keep from making payments on it but for the past two days I have watched as a committee has descended and are having themselves a grand wake. Everything in the yard has been dismantled and carried off, even the beautiful light fixtures and the wooden frame around the beautiful little folly, which is also missing the proud little weather vane that turned with the wind that was perched on the roof of that tiny structure. Included in this feast is even the generator, which was connected to the house for electrical emergencies. It has nothing to do with me, true, but when I went out on my deck and saw them feverishly feeding on all that those people had worked on to make beautiful it made me sick to my stomach, literally wanted to throw up.
I probably wouldn’t take it so hard if I hadn’t seen this happen in my life time, no not the dismantling of a home, but the feeding on a person whose life has taken a turn for the worse because of sickness, scandal, getting into trouble of some sort. I have seen the committee sitting in trees and the moment someone is down and they look too weak to stand on their on the wake is on and it is all over but the squawking and the whole kettle flying into the wild blue yonder to become a committee watching for another victim. It is said that Christians are the only army in the whole world that kill their wounded. It is not what we are taught by the scriptures. Galatians 6:1-3 “Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived.”
So why do you think it is that we are so willing to dismantle our fallen brother’s reputation or take his Bible class or fellowship group, whatever he was doing to serve the church? I would give you my personal opinion right here usually, but this time I really want to know from you what you think about this.
When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead He spoke to the friends standing around and told them to “loose him and let him go free”. Jesus began the miracle by raising him but the friends had to take the strips of cloth and the bindings that held his arms and hands against his body away. Don’t ask, I don’t know why Jesus just didn’t do it except that it was a lesson to us that when a person has given their life to him we care enough to help them with residual bondages to his past that threatens his life or growth in the family of God. When you are forgiven all your past is forgiven through justification by faith in Jesus but sometimes we need help breaking old habits or have problems just understanding.
When your child is learning to walk you don’t throw him away when he falls down trying to learn, or if he is trying to use the potty you don’t beat him and tell everyone what a bad child he is because he pees in his clothes, or do you?
Instead of joining a committee who jumps on a dying soul and has a wake be the person who “bear’s his burden” and follow the lyrics of a song written by Steve Green which say “Come let us pour the oil, Come let us bind their hurt. Let’s cover them with a blanket of His love, Come let us break the bread, Come let us give them rest, Let’s minister to healing to them, Don’t let another wounded soldier die.”