Outsider                                  October 2019

It’s early morning in Doane Valley on Mount Palomar. The fellow in the tent in the next camp spot over is snoring. A dove is cooing and cooing.  Some little bee must’ve gotten into my tent because I can hear it buzzing around. The sound of its wings is just one tone off from the tinnitus in my ears left over from those years in the U.S. Navy ships’ engine rooms.

Zzzzz, coooo,  zzzzz,  coooo, zzzzz, coooo, complimenting the bzzzz, hmmmm,  bzzzz, hmmm softly in the background.  I find it fascinating when someone says we humans are interrupters of nature.  They say we are not a part of the animal world, and we are interlopers or “outsiders” from what was evolved.

Setting us apart is unique in all the world.  Those same detractors of humankind  consider us something special in a derogatory way.  They believe in survival of the fittest when it comes to every other species except their own.  They grudgingly allow the birth of children while whispering under their breath about there being too many. They promote abortion as a form of population control though they call it something completely different.

I know a wonderful loving family with 16 children.  Each one is precious.  Yet, some confused humans have commented, “don’t they know about birth control?” There are other comments I won’t mention here.  Those are the same people that say women should always be able to choose whether they want to have children – then say my friends can’t have 16, if they choose to.

If you accept Darwin’s theories, you cannot call a human anything other than just another animal. We are nothing special when it comes to the territorial imperative. We are not a splendid species – we are just a successful species. Our habits, cravings, land claiming, and mating are nothing more than those of the bears in the woods. Survival of the fittest gives me permission to do whatever I think is necessary for my survival. My definition of “survival” may include a sports car, a huge home, fancy clothes, exotic foods, and enough cash to continue to do whatever I want. I, like the bear, define what survival is.

On the other hand, if we are special, then all of that changes. I contend that the very fact that we care about the welfare of others sets us apart. We send emergency food, personnel, and temporary housing to the citizens of other countries to help them through a hurricane, flood, or earthquake. We haven’t even met them. We never will. We send it all anyway.   That is a worldly way of looking at our uniqueness. We care for those who suffer, while the bear walks away into the woods looking for the next berry patch. The biblical view came straight from the great teacher Paul inspired by the Master, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10.

We do not live outside. Our world is within the world. God said to Adam and Eve “Subdue the earth . . . Rule over the fish, birds, and every living creature . . . every seed-bearing plant . . . every tree.” God created Adam and Eve in His own image and gave them power over all creation.   We are His splendid species.

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