Thursday, February 4, 2010

Strange Thoughts

What do you suppose animals - or even angels - think about human beings' looks?

Okay, I realize that question sounds odd. But it struck me the yesterday. I'd been watching some clips of various animals, and admiring different things about them; their size, beauty, shape, color, texture, cuteness, majestic bearing, or power. God made each creature so astoundingly beautiful!

Just think of fur. That's one thing many animals have in common, but each one's coat is so different. There's the soft fuzz of a puppy, the coarse hair on a bear's back, the soft but strong hairs of a horse's coat...even the bristles on a pig, if you can count that as "fur."

But fur is beautiful. Especially when a breeze ruffles it. Ever seen the glossy coat of a long- haired well-brushed dog waving as he runs to fetch a stick? Or have your fingers ever itched to caress a panda bear..if he'd let you?

Sea creatures are beautiful in their own way - without fur. The bright colors God chose for many of those fish are so sparkling jewels. Or how about the smooth skin of a dolphin? The grace that most of the underwater creatures have is breathtaking to watch.

That's actually what got me thinking. I watched a human swimming, and compared it to a sea creature swimming. Even the most skilled swimmer is so graceless when compared to a fish.

Well, I thought, we weren't designed for water. We function much better on land.

But then I started imagining us being compared to land animals; running beside (or behind!) a cheetah, or flying (or trying) next to an eagle. We don't hold up so well in the land-bound creature department either.

Then I started looking at humans. Really looking. Trying to imagine that I'd never seen a human before.

Two spindly legs. A head that almost looks too big for the rest of us. No fur. Only some hair. No snout or muzzle to speak of; a flat face. No special physical talents; we aren't fast runners compared to animals, we can't fly alone, and we're not superb swimmers, or jumpers, and we can't follow a scent. What makes us think that we're beautiful?

I must interrupt myself to say that I'm speaking in the purely physical realm, here. I know that we have spirits and are made in the image of God, which is something no animal can claim. We can think and reason, and we know the difference between right and wrong; again, something no animal has. Humans have value far above that of animals. We're different. And I'm really glad God put that difference into us, because if you looked at us on just the physical level, we'd flunk out pretty bad.

I think it'd be a good idea for us to sit back and think on this every once in awhile. It might help us to realize that we're not so all-powerful as we'd like to think. If we were like brute beasts, and the world truly was run on a "survival of the fittest" method, we'd be dying out quite fast. And we probably wouldn't be winning any beauty contests either; not without the decorations we've come up with to enhance our looks...simple things like soap and clothes. :) (Although we have to give God credit for coming up with the clothing idea.)

Our value does not lie in our physical bodies. Our value lies in the fact that we're made in God's image, and have a soul. The things that make us higher than the animals are the workings of our minds and hearts. Our sense of justice. Our yearning to know why we're here. That sense that we're born with...that knowing that there's a Creator. The ways we try to copy God; being creative, being productive, being good. We may lose our hair, our teeth, or our ability to walk, but we can't lose our soul. Even people who "lose their mind" still have something in them that makes them different from animals. They can't lose that something inside that makes humans different.

Just think....if our value is linked to the degree we copy and follow after our Maker, what happens when men exalt the human body above all else? They are leaving the only thing that really gives humans worth, and going after something they cannot attain.

Okay; I know this is a rather odd post. I tried to say something like this at the supper table yesterday, and it came out sounding too "philosophical." I had to stop after the first few sentences. It IS a rather strange subject to try to understand. I don't know why I got thinking about it. ...But once I started thinking about it, I couldn't rest until I had spoken the idea to someone and heard what they think about it. So I decided to write a blog post about it.

So....there you have it.


Alethea Jordan said...


Amanda said...

That's interesting to think about! And it's so true: we DO think TOO MUCH about ourselves, most of the time!