Animals in zoos are real. They live, die, and survive. Whatever this reality is, it isn’t the same as life in the real world.
During the past week I have had the opportunity to observe life up close. I will never see the trumpet of an elephant the same way after experiencing the look in a mother’s eyes as she protected her young one. The reality took on a whole new meaning as we faced off against each other, a mere fifteen feet between the wimpy Toyota Land-Cruiser and a multi-ton elephant standing well over twelve feel tall.
I don’t think I will ever look as a lion as being totally lazy even those they excel at this after seeing the impact of a lion’s claw rip a meter long, four inch deep slash across a zebra’s side that lived to tell the tale. The red tinged skeleton of an ?lan brought a fresh reminder of what is at stake. Even the eagle is not exempt. I always pictured an eagle’s meal as mice or possible snakes, not a baby Thomson gazelle! Everywhere I looked the reality of nature brought fresh lessons that reality isn’t smooth sailing, catered meals, rose petal baths, guided tours, and a watchman to escort you from point A to point B.
You and I live in a world very similar to the Serengeti. People die, lives are at risk. Anything can and often does happen! There are no promises you and I can make that we know will absolutely come true, this is reality.
Yet reality doesn’t end with hyenas and jackals cleaning up the scraps. You and I have a God who passionately cares about and for us! God says that “My flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.” (John 6.55) There is a metaphorical leap but the reality is that unless God is our reality where everything is possible then the Serengeti will be the only reality we will ever know. My desire is God’s reality of compassion, mercy, acceptance, and ultimately hope is our reality.
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