Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: SURPRISE (07/25/19)
- TITLE: A Glimpse Beyond the Curtain
By Dave Walker
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With a knock, the door opened to an excited game guard. "Miss Barbara, there is something strange happening. You must come and see."
"Don't talk in riddles, Mukondi. There are lots of strange things happening in the bush. Little warthogs running behind their mothers with their tails straight in the air, like aerials; wild dogs frightening lions off their kill; black herons that shade the water with their wings to attract the fish...."
"No, no, Miss Barbara. This is different. It's a lion. You won't believe me unless you see it. Please come."
Barbara's interest was aroused. What could a lion be doing that made Mukondi so excited?"
It was a bumpy ride in their Land Rover, but neither occupant noticed it. 'Bundu bashing' --- driving over uncharted territory --- was all in a day's work.
"Stop. Look. Over there."
Barbara reached for her binoculars to get a closer look at the lioness. Close by was a shaky, half-starved oryx calf nibbling at some leaves. Barbara waited for the lioness to pounce on this easy meal, wondering what Mukondi was getting so excited about. They'd seen kills like this dozens of times. Cruel as it always was, it was the law of the jungle.
The next minute, she was bolt upright, every muscle tense with excitement. The lioness made no charge nor showed any sign of aggression. Instead, it wandered up to the calf, nuzzled it and led it into the shade of a tree. The lioness slumped comfortably down. Barbara sensed a God moment as the calf took the cue and lay in the curve of the lion's outstretched legs and her abdomen.
In the following weeks Barbara lived in a fantasy world, where animals live in harmony and the law of the jungle becomes the law of love and nurture. Except that it was no fantasy. It was played out before her eyes.
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Every now and again, God gives us a glimpse of His ultimate plan, so filled with goodness and mercy that all creation rejoices. Stories abound of animals adopting other species. A famous gorilla, Koko adopted a kitten, a cat has adopted a squirrel, a pig a lamb, a dog has adopted a baby kangaroo. Yet for a lioness to adopt what it usually eats sings the Saviour's song of a new heaven and a new earth.
But sadly, what we get for now is only a glimpse. All around us lies the writhing debris of a fallen creation that groans in anticipation of the revelation of the sons of God. (Romans 8:19) One day, in the fullness of time, what Barbara witnessed will be the norm. Men will live in harmony, trust and true, sacrificial love; the light of God will fill each heart and the air will resound with the music of heaven. The revelation of the sons of God, as we become what God has intended us to be from before the Fall, will spill over into all creation. The leopard will lie down with the goat, the lion with the lamb, the cow will feed with the bear and their young will lie down together. (Isaiah 11:6,7)
For now, though, God draws aside the curtain a fraction and what we see brings a mantle of wonder and a full, beating heart, for instinctively we know that is what we were created for. Then the curtain falls, and we face the truth. We are sojourners in a marred, distorted world.
Sadly, Barbara was confronted with this. One day, as the lioness rested by a tree, her frail charge wandered to the river nearby. A large lion pounced ... the curtain had fallen.
Yet, the Most High God, who is also our Father, is always sending us more and more glimpses, making us prisoners of hope. We cannot despair when we see His pictures of promise. An incandescent sky ablaze with His glory, the sweet innocence and trust of a sleeping child on its father's chest, the scent of roses, the song of birds, a tender touch of compassion all hint of a world without sin where God's presence is its light.
It's a world that everyone longs for, yet to His children it is more than a longing. It is a promise. It's the end of the journey. It is home.
(A fictionalised account of a true story. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZw-1BfHFKM)
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