Last Saturday, a silver back gorilla named Harambe, was shot to death when a little boy fell into its compound at the Cincinnati Zoo. And there has been a massive outcry about the decision to shoot the endangered animal.
More than 400,000 people have signed a petition calling, “Justice For Harambe” and many seem to have become experts in zoo-keeping, toddler-caring and animal-justice in a matter of days.
Yes Jesus, our attention needs salvation.
Because last week up to 1,000 people died in the sea between their war-torn countries and Europe.
Created in the image of God.
The story of Genesis makes a beautiful and necessary distinction. While God created the earth and the sea and the fish and the gorillas, he said multiple times, “It is good.”
However, when God created Adam and Eve, and looked at everything he had created by the sixth day, He said, “It is very good.”
Mankind brought about the completion of creation.
We were the final masterpiece.
The ultimate expression of God in perfection.
He said the same thing when the baby girl in this image was born a few weeks back. I have no doubts about that. But a rescuer with German charity Sea-Watch was cradling her dead body in his arms as if she was sleeping on Friday. The sweetheart was pulled from the waters of the Mediterranean after a wooden boat capsized.
And 44 other bodies were recovered at the same time.
In an email, the aid worker, who said his name was Martin but did not want his family name published, told Reuters she looked: “…like a doll… I took hold of the forearm of the baby and pulled the light body protectively into my arms at once, as if it were still alive… It held out its arms with tiny fingers into the air, the sun shone into its bright, friendly but motionless eyes. I began to sing to comfort myself and to give some kind of expression to this incomprehensible, heart-rending moment. Just six hours ago this child was alive.”
I do not want to minimize the value of God’s beauty in a gorilla. Harambe was a majestic creature with an incredible ability to show off his mighty self.
But Jesus did not die for Harambe.
He died for this baby girl.
For all her family members.
And for every single person who is forced to leave home and country because of war and hate.
You see, our attention keeps getting distracted with gorillas and fashion.
With celebrities and their fake realities.
With sports glory and Netflix marathons.
And with a sad “gospel” that worships the trinity of “me, myself and I” and has forgotten the will of the actual Trinity.
This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:3-4
I know it’s inequitable to compare scenarios and situations. We are talking about two very different things. But we need to be aware, that right now, the news, our social media feeds, and almost every outlet in the western world, is giving more attention to a gorilla being shot to save a child’s life, than to the story of hundreds of children dying while trying to escape hunger and bloodshed.
It’s not that these other things are “bad”.
(God knows I like Netflix.)
I don’t want to devalue people’s concerns for animals, their mistreatment, and the correct protocols to house them.
* FYI, my wife is a HUGE animal lover. You know, the kind that hates spiders but still puts them in a cup and takes them outside to go back to their “moms and brothers.”
Yeah, that kind.
I love that she’s raising our boys to respect life, to value nature, to take care of the their surroundings. It is part of our mandate to work and keep our garden. (Genesis 2:15)
Also, and I know this to be true for me, sometimes we spend more time putting down other people’s “caring” than pursuing our own; and we try to validate what we care about as more important (or spiritual) than what others care about.
But that’s just another form of pride. Another way of saying, “I’m better than you”.
And I apologize if this article seems to be crossing that line.
It’s just that if we assign more value to what happens in a zoo, to what happens to a thousand refugees, then we have crossed seem sort of line.
Because some things are truly more important than others, and it feels like it’s time for us to allow Jesus to come rescue us from our deception and fix our eyes again on what truly matters on this earth.
“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” – Jesus (talking about Himself)
Dear church, join me in praying… this is my honest request:
Yes Jesus, our attention needs salvation. We need your heart for the lost. Your compassion for the sick. Your willingness to love, to care, to heal. We are properly distracted by an overload of information. Entertainment is our master and we are in desperate need for your prophetic revelation.
Open our eyes to see you face and face. And when our eyes our open, help us to realize that you are the lonely, the hungry, the sick, the stranger.
Let that gorgeous baby girl, who lost her life in the Mediterranean, be a reminder to us again, of how much we need your priorities in place.
We’re looking to you, founder and perfecter of our faith; to make all our “caring” start and end with you.
“You are worth more than many sparrows” – Jesus in Matt. 10:31 (talking about you and me and every single refugee.)
+ If you agree, please share it. If you don’t, let me know your thoughts on the comments section below.
+ Read more in: Dear Christians, Jesus Was A Refugee
Download & Listen: