Animal prints are really big at the moment. They come and go as fashions, and how to put them together varies. But animal prints are naturally beautiful, and perhaps never really out of style.
I’m traveling right now, and I had to (HAD to) go to JC Penney’s sale, where I picked up several more tops, shoes and a bag with… animal prints. I can’t help it. I counted 21 animal-print items I had with me, including my suitcase and carry-on. Mostly zebra (love the black and white). Also leopard. Also giraffe.
Their beauty is in being predictably unpredictable. We recognize a zebra skin, yet the pattern does not repeat. Consider plaid, strips, polka-dots: all inorganic, manmade, perfectly predictable patterns. I think that’s how mankind likes it — a pattern we can anticipate and even draw for ourselves. We like life that way too because it feels less risky.
But God’s designs don’t repeat. A giraffe is a giraffe, but no giraffe skin is exactly the same as another. The sun comes up every morning, but the timing shifts. Spring is generally warmish, but we might get a surprise snowstorm.
God not only designs the unpredictable, He lays beauty over the wildly dangerous. The beautiful tiger skin is laid over a… tiger! The ocean bobs rhythmically above sharks! The vastness of space is both enthralling and terrifying!
God is unpredictable in our lives, too. He told Moses to strike the rock for water the first time, and to speak to the rock the next time. Jesus restores sight with spit one time and with spit and mud another time. God repeats patterns of guiding and restoring His children, but each event is unique. We recognize His work, but we cannot reproduce it ourselves. We may like the comfort of the predictable, but He insists on much more than that for us.
Let’s set aside stripes and polka-dots to prepare for the unpredictable. How do we do that? Grab onto the God who has proven Himself trustworthy and has revealed Himself as wildly unpredictable. Only there will we find beauty beyond our wildest imagination!