By Rhoda Klein Miller
The scene played out on crisp black and white video captured by a nighttime camera focussed on a culvert opening beneath a highway in California. The movement of a coyote triggered a sensor and began the recording. What followed next was truly unexpected. The canine turns, looking over its shoulder for its lumbering sidekick and playfully bows as if to coax its lagging pal to keep up. From the tall grass at the edge of the frame a badger emerges and the two plod on together through the tunnel.
The internet is full of cute animal videos. What made this one go viral? Perhaps the novelty of an unlikely friendship between competing predators. Maybe we are desperate for some hopeful evidence that trust can be formed despite a history of rivalry. That coyote reminds me of Jesus who joyfully forged the most unexpected friendships. Jesus was a master at bridging divides and crossing boundaries, inviting partnership, and turning villains into heroes.
The Bible records how He patiently dealt with flip-flopping allegiances, called out abuses of power but offered forgiveness and grace to every repentant heart. Jesus gave His life for us “while we were in opposition to Him” as a demonstration of His reconciling love (Rom 5:8). What offences will you forgive, what prejudices might you give up to find friendship with a former enemy?
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