We were watching Tommy sit in the corner of his home, getting groomed by his friend, picking away at the bugs hidden in the heavy fur coat. We read the information sign which informed us that Tommy likes yogurt, nuts and popcorn. I talked about how I could live with Tommy and be quite happy. I love yogurt and nuts, and especially popcorn. There’s a nice hammock to sleep in, and you get lots of visitors. What a life I could have with my buddy, Tommy. We laughed about scenarios of me living with Tommy at the zoo.
And then my twelve-year old grandson read out loud how much Tommy weighs and, without missing a beat he asked me, “how much do you weigh?” (Slight pause, as a wave a realization comes over me) “Well Wil, I weigh more than the orangutan.” He looked up at me with a face that said something between ‘wow’ and ‘you’re kidding, right?’
Moving on toward the dinosaur exhibit we came across a popcorn stand. You cannot walk past a popcorn stand in the middle of an hours long excursion through the animal kingdom. I shared my popcorn with Wil, and after we got through about half of the bag he commented, “You should go back and give the rest to Tommy.” I don’t know if his concern was more for Tommy or for me.
The Milwaukee Zoo is home to over 1800 species of animals and fish. According to one source, scientists have recorded 20,000 species of fish, 6,000 species of reptiles, 9,000 birds, 1,000 amphibians, and 15,000 species of mammals. According to another scientific estimate there are about 8.7 million species of life on the earth. The numbers are overwhelming.
I find it easier to just think of the fact that God made Tommy, and me, and we both like yogurt, nuts and popcorn. And that on the New Earth, I will be able to share my popcorn with an orangutan. And there will be no scales.
“God made the wild animals according to their kind…” Genesis 1:25a