The Conservation Truth

I came upon a particular scene while reading Les Miserables.

There are two starving orphan boys wondering around a public garden.

A father and son appear, the son eating some cake, looking full. The orphan boys hide as the father and son watch some swans.

Seeing the orphan boys, the father makes a rude comment. His son spits his cake out and says he is full. His father tells him to give his cake to the swans.

“Be humane,” He says, “We must take pity on the animals!”

While having seen two starving children, the father felt more for two probably well fed birds.

Why does this matter?

The Lord gave me a passion for animals and nature. I sit in wonderment over the beauty of all creatures, even the creepy crawlies.

I want to dedicate my life to protecting wildlife and educating others to do so.

I am an animal advocate. I do not think animal abuse in any form is morally right. I do not even like the idea of hunting (though I understand some of its benefits).

But don’t misunderstand me. If I had a choice between saving ANY animal and saving a human, the choice would be easy. I would feed a person before feeding an animal.

I am a human advocate first.

But, I do not see how being one discludes you from being the other. I love conservation because, to me, it is about teaching people to live harmoniously with nature.

Conservation is really much more of a humanitarian career than people think. Conservationists must not only understand culture, but even accept it at times. We must see the poacher’s side of the story, the starving man trying to feed his family.

A conservationist’s job is to help humans see how nature and wildlife can help them live a good life.

I do care much more about people than animals, but I’ve found its pretty easy to love the, both, though it is difficult to teach them to love each other.

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Dear Younger Me, the Gift of Singleness

Dear Younger me,

Sometimes God will give you a gift that He doesn’t give to someone else.

You may unwrap that gift and complain, “What the heck is this? I didn’t ask for this!” You may want to return it. You may want to trade it.

But, accept it. I would say even be grateful for it. Make it your most treasured possession.

I was given the gift of being single. The Lord gave me this gift, protecting me from heart ache and complications. Unfortunately, I opened that gift time and time again and saw it as a curse.

Accept it. The gift may seem like a mistake right now, but I promise, if it comes from Him, it’s the best gift you’ll ever unwrap.

God’s Sight

1 Peter 3:4

“the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”

I read that and think, “No guy cares or notices a nice girl, unless she is also beautiful, thin, and a million other outwardly attractive things.”

I can’t help but think that way when I have worked on my inner life, when I have treasured humility, kindness, and love. Yet, very few men seem to find me even the least bit interesting.

But wait!

Where does it even say in this passage that having a gentle quiet spirit is attractive to men?

* It doesn’t!

We are told it is “of great worth in God’s sight.” You are not being gentle and quiet, or working on your inner beauty for man’s praise or attention. It is all for Christ. He treasures this, thus look only to Him.

I sometimes struggle in my self-worth, wondering if there is something wrong with me. My limited experiences in romance don’t help me feel more confident about my outer or inner beauty. Luckily, that’s not what life is about.

My worth is in Him. My beauty is in His eyes. When I choose, what is right and pure over what is attractive and exciting, the Lord treasures it. He treasures me.

Why would I ever want more than that?