Thirty years ago today, Sue Hendrickson, a fossil hunter, found three large 65 million-year-old bones jutting out of a cliff, near the city of Faith, South Dakota.
Those bones turned out to be just the tip of the dinosaur – in this case the largest skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus rex ever discovered.
The 42 foot-long skeleton was named ‘Sue’ after it’s discoverer. The skeleton was 90% intact, allowing researchers to gain new insights into the T-Rex, (such as discovering that it had an acute sense of smell!)
Unfortunately, this amazing discovery gave rise to a prolonged legal battle over ownership of ‘Sue’. In 1997, Chicago’s Field Museum bought Sue at an auction for the price of $8.36 million.
You don’t have to be a fossil hunter to pay attention to the surprises awaiting our discovery in this world – the butterfly that suddenly rises from the flower bed, the bald eagle that suddenly reveals majestic strength living in the skies above us, the new born child whose total vulnerability overwhelms our hearts.
You don’t have to be either a fossil hunter or a theologian to pay attention to the surprising ancient encounters with God found in the stories of the Bible – a voice speaking from a burning bush, the gentle whisper following earthquake and fire, a baby born in a stable, a companion breaking bread…
Unfortunately, as happened with Sue, there have been prolonged struggles over who ‘owns’ these stories – that is, who gets to provide the interpretation that contains ‘the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.” That is too bad, because God is creative enough and wondrous enough to express truth and love and grace in many ways, in many stories, in many traditions and understandings.
So, read the stories and look around your neighbourhood. Do so from a perspective that dwells somewhere near faith in an amazing Creator, and be prepared for some discoveries, some surprises and some communion with God.
Having told you what happened 30 years ago today, we now remind of you what will happen tomorrow.
It’s our weekly Zoom gathering – a time for us to check in and chat. If you would like to participate (no previous participation required), the link follows. All are welcome.
Here’s the link for Thursday, August 13, at 9 am.
Join Zoom Meeting
We look forward to seeing you again.
Carol and Jeff