Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Squirrels, snakes, hawks, and heaven

Aarrrggghh. Enough with life lessons from the wildlife and wandering in the wilderness! I told you, I’m a city girl! I prefer classrooms made of concrete, surrounded by lots of roads and traffic and all the pretty lights.

Yes, more stories from the animal planet, aka my yard.

Yesterday, I pulled my car into my driveway and parked. The driveway at our hose curves left, so when the car is parked in the driveway, it is parallel to the street. There is only a few feet of dirt between the parallel driveway and street. I say dirt and not grass because there are two huge oak trees growing in that little plot of land. Big trees and lots of shade mean no sun and no grass. The mailbox at the edge of the yard is directly underneath one of the trees.

I got out of the car and stepped toward the mailbox to get the mail. My cat, Marbles, as she usually does, bounced out of the rocker on the front porch and began to waddle out to me.

This awful screaming started wailing through the air. I froze. Marbles ran under my car and crouched behind a tire. I could tell the scream came from an animal, not a human. I could also tell it was close by. I was still about three steps away from the front of the mailbox. My feet didn’t move, but I looked all around. I realized it was coming from somewhere over my head.

I looked up. In among the oak tree’s high limbs and leaves I saw something that did not seem like it belonged there. At first, it looked like a large piece of crumpled-up, vanilla-colored craft paper (the kind professional movers use to wrap your china in). It was wrapped in and around some of the smaller branches. The screaming was coming from there.

There was lots of noise, but no movement.

As I focused more clearly, I realized that what I thought was wrinkled paper was actually feathers. More specifically, hawk feathers. It was the underside of its full wing span spread out. And then I saw a little fuzzy squirrel tail hanging from the mix of feathers and branches. It was the source of all the noise.

The crying and screaming finally stopped. After several long, silent seconds the hawk took flight with the little squirrel in its clutches.

I stood there feeling helpless. I wanted to cry for the squirrel. I wanted to scoop my cat up so the hawk wouldn’t get her.

I know this kind of thing happens every day.

I know that just a couple of days ago, we were responsible for snuffing out a snake.

I know this has to happen for life to go on. I know all about the circle of life and death and the food chain and all.

I just don’t like to witness it personally. The killing seems so evil.

A year ago, maybe two, I read Randy Alcorn’s book HEAVEN. It permanently influenced the way I think about death. Every time I’m faced with death now, whether it is human, plant, or animal, I think about heaven.

Alcorn’s HEAVEN is a 500-page book and very textbook-like, so I won’t try to recap it here. But I will say that he makes a very convincing case about what the Bible says about not only human death, but the death of plants and animals too. All death.

Mostly, to summarize it, there will be no more death once we get to heaven.

That’s what is says in Revelation.

Just think about it for a minute. If there is no death, the food chain as we know it is gone. There will be no killing for food. Plants won’t die. We’ll have perpetually producing crops.

I won’t need to fear poisonous snakes. I won’t have to cry over helpless little squirrels.

I am so-o-o-o looking forward to it. I just have to face my own death to get there. I thank God that I have faced it and settled it before some shovel wielding man or a sharp-clawed hawk comes after me.

I pray the same for you.

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true." Revelation 21:4-5

1 comment:

THE ROOST said...

I am so sorry you had to see that. It sounds awful. I LOVE the way you ended the post though. I am glad I have that settled and will be there one day too!:0)