This is a picture post! While in Africa, part of our team drove from Maputo, Mozambique to Kruger Park in South Africa for a worship service, or what is more commonly called a day safari. It was a day of awe from being caught up in the sheer beauty of creation. Truly amazing.
One of our team members had been told by a friend that when she went to Kruger Park all she saw were the plentiful Impala. Kruger is about the size of Wales, UK and we only covered a very tiny portion of it but we were fortunate enough to see a veritable smorgasbord of life! It seemed as if God was calling the creatures out of the bush and literally presenting them to us. That may sound silly, but I could truly sense his enjoyment of our enjoyment. I was thinking of the line from the film Chariots of Fire where Olympic runner Eric Liddell says, “When I run I feel His pleasure.” As we oooed and aahed and adored and yes, even wept, we all sensed his pleasure.
Earth’s crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.
~Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Rhinos are not my favorite but you cannot see one and not be impacted by its magnificence. I have actually met one much closer up on a safari a few years back. But this was close enough. Their sheer size and power never fails to create awe.
Like the rhino, the sheer size of the water buffalo leaves me speechless and that’s saying something. This one was easily twice as big as our car. I am sure that tanks are fashioned after rhinos and water buffalo.
The ubiquitous impala. We saw a hyena eating one at one point. I won’t post that picture. Amidst so much beauty, violence feels so wrenching. Someday, all this shall be made new. The wolf will lie with the lamb and the lion will eat straw.
This is an African Wild Dog. I had never seen or heard of one before. They are quite pretty. There were a couple of others sleeping not too far from this one. They looked to be about half the size of my greyhound.
Near dusk the lions come out to hunt. I was so hoping to see lions because they truly are my favorites. Their majesty is unlike any other creature, IMO. We were almost at the end of the day and heading out of the park when we saw several cars stopped up the road ahead of us. I held my breath and as we drew closer, there they were! A whole pride of lions. Wow. Just wow.
As we started to head out of the park one of our group commented that it felt like the end of a fireworks celebration when tons of fireworks are exploded all at once filling the sky with color. It was just like that for us because all of a sudden we saw all the animals again almost all at once. It reminded me of seeing fireworks while listening to the Boston Pops play the 1812 Overture. Da da da da da da DA da da BOOM! Da da da da da da DA da da BOOM! Only with every BOOM there was another creature. Hippo! Water Buffalo! Elephant! It was overwhelming and wonderful. If you ever need reminding that God is playful or that he loves diversity….. 🙂