Africa: Peaceable Kingdom


At Ukutula, as we were walking around the different enclosures, we came upon a sight that made us look twice. In one enclosure, we saw a full grown male lion and two maturing Bengal tigers. We searched around to locate the fence that must be separating them and not able to believe or conceive that these two enemies were residing together. And indeed they were. The staff is keeping an eye on each animal; but they have found this unlikely trio to actually love and enjoy each other’s presence.

In watching their interactions, I kept thinking this truly is a glimpse of the peaceable kingdom. A place that many argue is metaphorical, others find inconceivable, and some hope for with all their hearts. When I hear it described by the prophet Isaiah, I find my settling with a description of how the world was intended to be and a challenge of what we are to create. It is a description of what the world tells us about instinct and conditioned hate and it flies to the wind of greater needs of all of love.

I wonder what glimpses we are gifted to remind us of such a way of being with all of creation?