“But ask the animals, and they will teach you,
or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you;
8 or speak to the earth, and it will teach you,
or let the fish in the sea inform you.
9 Which of all these does not know
that the hand of the Lord has done this?
10 In his hand is the life of every creature
and the breath of all mankind."
Job 12: 7-10
I love the words in this passage. Its poetry just speaks to my animal-and-nature-loving soul.
I'm reminded here that the Bible was written by people who spent much of their lives outside, in tune with the seasons, tied to the land, mindful of the animals that both served and fed them. They observed the wildlife and the trees and the skies as easily and naturally as breathing.
Of course the wildness of the earth and its creatures spoke to them of the divine, just like it still speaks to us in modern times.
Perhaps we lack the proximity to nature that our ancestors had. In our neighborhoods, behind our fences, inside our temperature-regulated homes, we rush to work and responsibilities with a quick check of the weather forecast on our smart phones. We are fortunate in many ways to live free from the forces of nature, and yet...It beckons to us.
”Step outside,” it says.
Even the gentle eyes of our sweet family dogs and cats implore us to slow down and pay attention. Creatures of God’s hand, they know secrets about life that elude us in our busy suburban rush.
I’ve been blessed with a couple of donkeys who have gifted my life with laughter and exasperation. As I’ve traveled around telling their stories, people have pulled me aside and whispered their own: a dog who shows unconditional love, a kitten who has learned to trust, or a chicken who provides eggs and sustenance. They seem embarrassed, surprised that their pets have revealed something of God to them.
But this is the way of God’s creation. Everything speaks of Him.
And I simply say, “Ask the animals, and they will teach you.”