Before the Dawn
The Lion & the Gazelle
A boy and his father were sharing a morning walk in the sweet smelling garden, as was their nature. They saw two gazelles romping on the plain before the mighty golden disk of the warm rising sun. “I cared for him more.” The boy thought to himself remembering the injured gazelle he had watched yesterday while it died.
“What is it like, Father?” the boy questioned, tugging on his father’s garment. Immediately, the father stopped walking to focus his complete attention on the touch, as was also his nature. “What is it like to love just one creature more than any other?”
“What makes you ask that?” The father questioned.
“One of the boys said that it is possible.” The son quickly answered unashamedly. “Is it possible Father?”
The father was about ready to take another step, but paused again, realizing of which of the boys his son had just spoken. “He has made you wonder, my child. Indeed, all things are possible,” the father continued, “but does that mean that everything is prudent? Some things however, were considered necessary my son.”
“Even though you love all creatures, from time to time, some of them will need more of your love than the others.” The father then stated….“In that way, you could certainly love one more, just as you cared greatly for the injured antelope yesterday.”
Pointing towards the rising sun the father taught…. “Do you notice that while it is near the horizon you can see the sun move?” Sweeping his arm above his head he added. “And as it travels across the sky, its movement is barely noticeable. But at eventide you become aware of its inevitable departure as the setting sun races fast below the horizon.”
“Does the sun not always move at the same speed Father?” The boy questioned.
“Yes it does.” The father answered, pausing once again. “The Sun is a part of nature. Its motion, like all of nature, was fixed precisely at the beginning. And its movement, like the stars of the heavens, will continue as designed….until the end. But, because of your special perception, you notice that it appears to move at different speeds.”
Placing a hand on his chin, the father mused…. “Some of our creation is alive and some is not. That which is alive is aware of nature, and the living creatures all affect the lives of each other. One creature is more perceptive, as are you, than all of the others.”
“The gazelles romp out on the plain while the Lion watches them through the tall blades of grass.” Now moving his hand to the boy’s shoulder the father said. “Aware only of the present, neither will give any thought of the end of the day, when the sun will set.
The Gazelle’s thoughts are in the moment…. enjoying the romp, but wary of the lions. And the Lion is thinking…. “My cubs are hungry; I need to kill a Gazelle….”
“Behold the Hunter.” The father continued pointing to a standing figure holding a spear on the distant side of the plain. “Stalking the Gazelle, he too is wary of the lions. And as the Gazelle, he has been known to gambol with his mate. Like the Lion, he also has hungry young back at his camp. Yet, just as you will my son, this evening the Hunter will consider the setting sun and the rising moon, as he ponders the coming dawn.”
“So,” the father surmised, “this morning, we see the Gazelle, the Lion and the Hunter. And each senses your love differently. It is understood that the Hunter and his family, because of their perceptions, are more aware of your love than the Lion or the Gazelle. But all creatures at some time will love others and will also need your love.”
“Often, the Hunter, and his mate and their children, will require different types and varying amounts of love,” the father explained.
“I already feel the difference in the love I have for the Lion the Gazelle and the Hunter. The boy replied. I love the Hunter more strongly than the animals. But my love for the Lions cubs and the gazelle’s calves is similar to my love for the Hunters children.”
“The Gazelles, The Lions and the Hunters,” the father spoke, “each have a special love for their offspring.” He then continues…. “Through that love; they will live on in the calves, cubs and children that they produce. That is the eternal love.”
“As do you, the Hunter loves the animals. And like the Hunter, the Gazelle and the Lion each loves their own offspring.” He then reminded the boy…. “The Hunter loves his mate differently. He would sacrifice his own life for his mate, or their children. He surely loves them more than any other.” The father said. “That is the greatest love.”
Recalling the question recently posed to him by the other boy and a beautiful spring morning when he had noticed the Hunter alone with his mate under a baobab tree, the boy again asked. “But what does it feel like Father, to love just one creature more than any other?”
“There are special types of love placed in the Man that were not given to any of the other creatures in the universe…. Save one, my son,” the father continued.
“Because the Hunter and his mate were made with these enhanced abilities to love, you, my son have inherited a special burden.” The father then went on…. “From time to time, they will each require all of your love.”
“But how is that possible?” The boy questioned, confused.
“Remember,” the father said….”all things are possible!”
“Tonight, as the setting Sun quickly fades to twilight, the Hunter will need all of your love, yet he will want none of it at all. Expecting it should happen, he will beg and plead with the departed Sun to return. And when it does not, he will become bitter. On this night, the more you love the Hunter, the more he will hate you.
Staring into a sunless sky, the Hunter will ask you why you have allowed the Lion to kill his youngest child….And you, my son, will have no answer for his question.”
The following morning, the pair once again strolled through the fragrant garden, as was their nature. “Yesterday, the Lion killed the youngest child of the Hunter.” The father spoke quietly to his son.
“Yes my Father, I watched as it happened,” the boy answered, “and I felt the Hunter’s pain and sorrow as he pled with the setting sun.”
“As you said Father, he needed all of my love last night, yet he wanted none of it. That made it all the harder to love him, but I understood his grief,” the boy added.
“As we spoke yesterday,” The father reminded the boy “Sometimes when a creature needs your love the most, they will desire none of it at all….This will always be your dilemma.”
“Do you remember that the Hunter would have given his own life for his child?” The father asked.
“Of course I do.” The boy answered. “We spoke of this yesterday. But the Hunter was away when the Lion came, and could not save the child.”
“At times when each of them needs all your love….You may also be away.” The father sadly said.
“Man and Woman were created with special abilities and perceptions.” The father reminded. “But after their creation,” He sighed, “the boy of whom you spoke revealed this to them. They were created special, but we hadn’t wanted them to know it.”
“I am well pleased with you my Son,” the father now spoke very softly to the boy. Reaching out to touch the son’s robe, the father had to steady himself as His own love flowed visibly into the boy.
“I know that, my Father.” The boy said as they watched the new dawning sun on the other side of the plain. The Lion and the Gazelle were watching the Hunter. They seemed to be sharing in the sorrow that he felt for the loss of his child.
“I must go there and find out.” The boy asserted. “I need to be there while the Lion prowls and the gazelles romp. I wish to watch over the Hunter and his mate and see their children grow. I must feel their sorrow as the sun sets and their expectations as it rises.” He continued.
“Yes, Son.” the father answered sadly. “I know that you must.”
“The one who made you wonder was unique; the most beautiful of all creation. He is more cunning and subtle than any other; men crave his allure. Yet, his own words to Man and Woman have created in them a need for you.” The father continued with bittersweet words…. “And his foolish words to you have set you on a course to them.”
“What you do now, my Son, is what you must. But I will always be with you, for your gift is even more unique than his.” The Father now spoke more sadly than He had ever before. “Even when he prods you to ask me why I have forsaken you, I will be with you. And when he tells the Hunter and his mate to ask the same question of you and they believe that you have forsaken them. You my Child, will be there with them also.”
“And while you are there my son…you may also find the answer to your own questions as well.”
A Sean Allen Story