Thursday, June 17, 2010

Ducks and Dogs

Peanut loved Sea World. It was full of all the various permutation of her favorite animals: ducks and dogs. In fact, all animals are either ducks or dogs. Without exception. So when we rode the conveyor belt past the intricate and complicated simulation of the Antarctic where dozens of Emperor Penguins starred at us through the glass, she squealed in delight. "Duck! Duck! Quack quack! Duck! Duck!" Then there was the exhibit where we watched Beluga whales gracefully swim and roll past the high glass wall. The big kids pressed their palms against the glass, gape-mouthed with appropriate awe for the wonder and variety of ways God has expressed himself in the animal kingdom. Peanut was equally enthusiastic. "Dog! Dog! Dog!" The big kids turned and giggled at both the ridiculousness and the volume of their baby. She even attempted to wake a polar bear who was sleeping against the glass, pounding on the window and calling him by his name, "Doggie! Doggie! Night-night Doggie!"

I have thought about her simplified system of classification, separating things with wings from things without. Her language and her knowledge of facts will grow with time. WIth each day she will have new words and ways to describe the things she sees. But her passion, volume and simplicity call into question the prism of my own interpretations. I seldom shout out or even recognize the things that are interesting to me. Neither do I recognize each of the events and objects in my day as what they are: manifestations of two basic elements in life, namely the goodness and mercy of God. All things that pass my way have passed through His hands, and there is truth and growth to be found when I label them as such.

"Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever." Psalm 23:6

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