Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Opossums and O People!

Early this morning, I heard an opossum scream in a neighbor's yard. Opossums are good pals because they eat pests. Unfortunately, they make a miserable scream noise when frightened. The sound reminds me of a human scream for a microsecond until I recall I'm listening to a prehistoric marsupial who does not want to harm me. "Leave ME Alone!" is the subtext of the scream.

Good neighbors in the yard. Loud screaming when disturbed. Reminds me of O People in congregations who respond to fear by screaming.

If the squeaky wheel gets the grease, then Opossums are the wheels who get attention. Same with O People who raise their voices when feeling uneasy.

I leave opossums alone. I move closer to O People to determine what is upsetting them and to reassure them.

Screamers aren't attractive. Look at the opossum picture. I walked out to my driveway in Biloxi years ago and almost fell over an opossum. Yuk! I ran in one direction, Ms. Opossum sped off in the other.

O People screaming attracts attention but doesn't do the o person much good. Go find out what is going on and begin to deal with the problem. If O people feel heard, they scream less. If O people get appropriate (not fearful) attention from you, they may learn how to express their fears without screaming.

St.Casserole, still learning


revkjarla said...


i love 'possums very much.

Cheesehead said...

Your o people are very lucky to have you.

zorra said...

Thank you so much for this insight. I am about to begin chairing a particular committee, and my co-chair is a screamer. I will have to observe carefully to determine whether this individual is an o-person, or just someone accustomed to accomplishing personal goals through tantrum-related behavior. (If it's worked for you since you were two, why change when you're forty-two?)

Songbird said...

Such wise words.

1-4 Grace said...

this is brilliant, like you!

revhipchick said...

cheesehead is brilliant! your o'people are extraordinarly blessed to have you!

you are a wise wise woman!

love ya!

Sue said...

Love this. LYMI.

Rev SS said...

so true ... so hard to remember sometimes. as others have already mentioned your o people are blessed and you are wise woman!

Hot Cup Lutheran said...

o people, o ministry... so complicated... here let me grab the bottle of whiskey... that's what the irish would say.

Deb said...

What I didn't know about possums would probably fill a very large bucket, but I did NOT know they screamed! LOL... and I think your image of O people is very very helpful for my particular situation.


Brenda from Flatbush said...

I just Googled "opossum makes screaming noise" (after another 4 a.m. wake-up call by, we presumed, Satan and his minions fighting in the overgrown adjoining back yard here in Brooklyn, NY). And what's the first hit I get, and click to? Yours. I don't think I've spoken to the Lord since (yawn) Sunday morning, and here He contrives to speak to me...through opossums...via a Presbyterian pastor in Biloxi...through the Interwebs. To paraphrase St. Paul, Be not forgetful to entertain possums: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Warmest wishes to you from a Yankee Roman Catholic!