I’ve been thinking a lot about wolves these days, enough to research the beasts in the North Woods of Minnesota whence I hail, monsters named after the abundance of trees used tactically in groups of these conscienceless Timber Wolves.
It might be that Shadow-dog has slightly less shagginess around the jowls and only slightly less roundish ears, but he’s definitely the height and length and weight of a Timber Wolf, the Gray Wolf of “legend” (because we’re scared to think of these marauders as being real).
His killer instincts are still shining brightly. When he wants to prove this, while growling, he takes his “basketball” in his teeth and rips it so violently from side to side that it is crystal clear that he could literally rip any creature, man or beast, limb from limb.
Jesus uses precisely this ferocity of wolves to describe how sheep are tossed about, torn to shreds by unscrupulous wolves who kill just to kill.
Jesus bids those sheep to be that like that which frightens even wolves, that is, like clever serpents. Mind you, clever serpents are even worse in that a clever serpent is the image used in Genesis for the now fallen angel, Satan. Meanwhile, recalling the Holy Spirit, the sheep, the children of God are to be, in all their cleverness, innocent.
Meanwhile, in such a confusing maelstrom, Satan dresses up the wolves like sheep so that they have the killer venom of Satan himself.
But that doesn’t fool the children of God, whose innocence in being forgiven, carries the very love of God that cuts through mind games Satan thinks to be clever, games of violence, of deceit, which lack all wisdom because lacking in love.
Meanwhile, Shadow-dog has lots of love for yours truly. He’s very playful, affectionate, and I think of the Creator of all, our Heavenly Father’s wisdom, and love.