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If I Could Talk to the Animals

If I Could Talk to the Animals

Straight out of Man’s side, shameless and beautiful, Eve takes up dialogue with a serpent. This deviant reptile never got a rise out of Eve. Apparently it was perfectly normal to speak with all the creatures, even this lowly one. Little did she know the deceiver had clothed himself in snake skin.  Aside from the destruction of Paradise, I’m oftentimes stunned at what is typically overlooked in the Genesis 3 passage, that being normal communication between people and animals.

Now before you dismiss this idea and peg me neurotic, I invite you to ponder the wonder of the Garden before sin entered in. It was a most splendid environment with every seed bearing plant and green thing. Animals of all kinds dwelt with the happy couple. Every creature with 2 eyes, a snout, and a mouth munched on the plentiful vegetation, fully satisfied. Prior to the Fall, the word slaughter never entered the equation. And if zero animals were killed for food, then perhaps they were given for Adam and Eve’s enjoyment and just maybe for their entertainment! (Have you ever watched the antics of monkeys or the playfulness of otters??) Is it possible that dialogue could have ensued between ALL the mammals, including the man and woman? After all, Adam did name them all.

I don’t know about you, but when I look into a dog’s eyes I see something wanting…something that they desire beyond their basic needs. Their pining for attention, their body language, and even facial expressions cause me to wonder if there are vestiges of days gone by… pre-Fall…when a flow of understanding took place between man and beast. Is this why Eve had no jaw-dropping reaction to the serpent’s invitation or Balaam to his donkey when it spoke clearly to him when God “opened its mouth” (and by the way, that donkey went so far as to prevent the Angel of the Lord from killing Balaam right there and then!).

So, what’s my point? Just this: When we behold the splendor and intricacies of our four-legged friends, could we possibly expand our minds to envision a future day where the animals will once again find their true voices? Call me Doctor Doolittle, but If the calf and the yearling feel no fear of a lion, a wolf and a lamb share a shady spot under a tree, a leopard takes a nap with a goat, and a child leads the whole pack, then just maybe everyone is conversing and sharing their joy and excitement in the new heavens and the new earth (based on Isaiah 11:6) If the Psalmist implores, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord” (Psalm 150:6), then don’t the creatures that humans dominate have breath, also? Do they praise Him now? Will they have that ability in the future? It’s not clear to me, but it is a command that will be fulfilled in its entirety one fine day. EVERYTHING that has breath will praise the One who formed them.

When said creatures are able to articulate what they’re currently unable to, will they ask us humans why we wasted so much? Destroyed so much? Didn’t dominate with integrity? (Although those might be Yahweh’s questions).

I can see myself exploring the jungle with a herd of giraffes, my tour guides. Maybe riding on the back of an Aslan-like lion? How about conversing with an eagle as I’m now able to truly have a bird’s eye view? Just to run with wild horses on the ocean’s shoreline is a delightful aspiration. Could this be an aspect of the world to come that’s rarely mentioned? These sweet imaginings make perfect sense to me since our God took the time to fashion every creature with exceptional care and detail.  And if you’ve ever observed the simply natural interaction between a young child and their pet, you know there’s more to this relationship than meets the eye…more that was meant to be…something that I believe got lost in the Fall.  Something that will ultimately be restored.

Not everyone will agree, but if you’re an “animal person”, you know exactly what I’m talking about. But not only that. If you are a God-lover, this just might give you a greater appreciation for His created order…the stunning majesty of the animal kingdom and how sin has destroyed the flow of what was meant to be. These creatures were important enough to Yahweh that He chose to save their remnant along with Noah and his family.

In a world where humans so often miscommunicate, regrettably using our voices to deceive, hurt, or slander one another, clear communication with our furry and feathered friends just might be some long awaited, welcomed chatter!

 

Lori Travers

Lori finds the Joy of the Lord to be her strength. Born and raised an Italian Jersey girl, she has finally settled in the south as Reynolda Presbyterian church became her new home. Ministry to women, reading, writing, cooking, and anything having to do with animals are her sweet spots. Having a background in cardiac testing, she chose to stay home and raise three incredible children who are now married, and currently has 2 precious granddaughters and one faithful husband of 34 years.

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