Fairfield Glade Community Church hosted a Women's Ecumenical Luncheon on June 12. Women from four other churches in Fairfield Glade attended. The Keynote Speaker was Bri Payne, Executive Director of the John Knox Center in Tennessee. The title of her presentation was "All God's Creatures Have Value." Bri brought two of her four-legged friends: a opossum named Shine and a turtle named Buttercup. Bri provided environmental education about the value, dignity, and respect of all of God's creatures.
Did you know that opossums eat ticks? The average opossum eats 5,000 ticks annually. Did you know that opossums are among the cleanest animals? They clean themselves just like cats do! Did you know that opossums can't normally carry rabies? Their body temperatures are too low to incubate rabies.
So why do opossums get a bad reputation? First, they are scavengers. They eat decomposed stuff, which leads people to think they are "dirty" animals. They are nature's garbage truck crews. I'm grateful the garbage truck crew comes by each week to pick up our trash at the house. We should be thankful the opossums do this for us in nature surrounding us, especially in Fairfield Glade.
Second, they have more than 50 razor sharp teeth, which can look scary when they show them. But the truth is that after they initially show their teeth and hiss when feeling threatened, they don't usually bite. Instead, the "play dead," mimicking the appearance and smell of a sick or dead animal.
All of God's creatures are special gifts from God, our Creator, including the often misunderstood opossum.
Thank you Bri and Shine for enlightening us. Shine's friends are always welcome in my yard---feel free to eat as many ticks as you would like! :)