The Comfort in my Low Estate

I am lately finding comfort in the thousands of species of animals.  At a visit to the zoo yesterday, we marveled at the long snout and bushy tail of the anteater, the ancient stillness of the alligator, and the majesty of an elk’s antlers.  While I understand evolution and even how it can fit into an intelligent design, I find it very hard to believe all of these wondrous species (not just a few) had to evolve.

I am lately finding comfort in primitive peoples.  Seeing photos of people who live a very different life than I do.  People who paint their faces and live in tribes in particular.  You might think these images would be disheartening to my wish- that we are truly different from animals and created in the image of God himself, that instead I would fixate on our intellect, accomplishments, and artistry- which I think I have at points in these writings, but sometimes our sophistication is just a distraction from the truth- our primitiveness- it reminds me…we are creatures.

Similarly, I am comforted by my place- a very small one- in history.  I am comforted by black and white photos of dapper men in hats waiting on soup lines during the Great Depression, and by Shakespearean sonnets on death, and even the dinosaurs my daughter plays with.  It hasn’t always been this way- this modern, I am reminded, and yet, the most basic troubles of humanity- death the foremost- have always been with us and run a common thread through the centuries and even millions of years.

The smaller I am, the more mysterious, and somehow, the more certain.

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