While the children assaulted imaginary villains in the front room I had a few moments alone and I clicked on a documentary which consisted of animals bounding, leaping and tearing at each other.
Other than WWII documentaries, they’re my favorite kind.
But they’re awfully violent and I have to turn them off when the children wander back into the room asking if Solomon Grundy or Lex Luthor has been seen near the ottoman. But I had a few solitary moments to watch animals eating other animals and it got me thinking.
I silently thanked God we didn’t have to bound, leap and tear at each other like animals because my bounding and leaping abilities are pretty poor. I thought to myself, aren’t we the most unlikely species to have the run of things on this planet?
Most of the other animals are preying on smaller animals within weeks of coming out of the womb. It’s amazing. They pop out, shake off the icky stuff, and they’re like, “Ok let’s go scare up some grub.” And they’re off.
Man cubs (as we’re called in the Jungle Book) are essentially helpless for years. We can’t even walk for about a year and we’re quite useless for many more. We don’t even have teeth for months. I’m sure an objective observer from space wouldn’t pick our species to last the night never mind sit comfortably atop of the food chain. Even when we grow up we’re not that fast and we’re not all that strong. Yeah, we got brains but not that much. (At least I don’t.)
But what is not taken into account and what proves to be stronger than our helplessness is love. Love saved us from extinction. Children are helpless and can only be protected by the radical love of a very patient parent. Only by a parent not being self-consumed for years and years and interested primarily in the life of a child is the entire species continued. Love has set us apart.
Once again, it shows me that the human race has been called to love. The whole shebang is set up to foster love. We are called out of ourselves and through that we succeed. We are called to love. We sit improbably and comfortably atop the food chain. Because of love.
And when mankind resembles animals eating other animals it is mainly because of a lack of love. And a lack of love is why there’s six WWII documentaries on next where we can watch humanity leap, bound, and tear at each other. But I’m turning off the television. I’m going to play with my helpless children who seem to have misplaced some arch-villains again.