We spent Wednesday morning at the zoo, surrounded by God’s infinite creativity. Not just in the variety of animals, their different sizes, different shapes, different skills and abilities. But in the same infinite creativity seen within humanity. The skin tones, the body shapes, the personalities that surrounded us, made me stand in awe.
We are quite beautiful, all of us. Not those that fit certain criteria, but all. We are quirky, creative, and sometimes crabby. We are, all of us, capable of beauty and cruelty.
The beauty of the animal kingdom is that they innately accept how they are created and use it to the best of their abilities. For us, it takes a large amount of work, prayer, and grace to get out from under our cultural conditioning and see ourselves and others as we truly are.
I was reminded of a Thomas Merton quote I had read somewhere along the way:
“It is a glorious destiny to be a member of the human race, though it is a race dedicated to many absurdities and one which makes many terrible mistakes: yet, with all that, God Himself gloried in becoming a member of the human race. A member of the human race! To think that such a commonplace realization should suddenly seem like news that one holds the winning ticket in a cosmic sweepstake.
I have the immense joy of being man, a member of a race in which God Himself became incarnate. As if the sorrows and stupidities of the human condition could overwhelm me, now that I realize what we all are. And if only everybody could realize this! But it cannot be explained. There is no way of telling people that they are all walking around shining like the sun.”
There truly is no way to tell someone that we are walking around shining like the sun.