During my years in Niger, I have seen lots of animals. Almost daily I see donkeys and camels as I drive across town to school. Occasionally I see a hippo or two as we cross the Niger River on the John F. Kennedy bridge. (Yes, it was the first major bridge built, linking one side of Niamey with the other.) On our trip to Park W I saw elephants, hippos, crocodiles and lots of other exotic beasts. However, probably my favorite of them all is the humble hedgehog. We generally see them scurrying home early in the morning as we leave for school. They are quite small and adorable–cute, but definitely not cuddly, as you can see in the picture above. Every time I see one I remember that all creatures are uniquely designed by our God for His glory. Now, let me ponder that for a minute. How does the hedgehog, cute though he be, glorify God? He does what he was made to do. He hunts at night and sleeps during the day. He scurries as he rushes from one place to another, and everywhere he goes, he goes alone. His quills are his protection–He would never win in a fight of any kind. God has placed him well to overcome his all too apparent weaknesses. So, when I look into my mirror at this old stranger with very little hair but lots of wrinkles, I can smile and say, “It’s okay. God’s in charge and I can trust Him. Look at the hedgehog! He scurries on his busy way day-after-day, pretty much alone, but taken care of by our loving God, just like me.“
God delights in surprising me with His goodness
That is so much more than a common word tucked
In almost anonymously in a rambling run-on sentence;
He delights in saying quietly, “Look at this!” as He points
To one of His creatures, maybe a hedgehog hurrying home
Early in the morning—and my heart picks up on His joy
As I gently laugh at this, it might often seem, insignificant
Though cute, uncuddly creature made in the midst of all
Eternity for His pleasure, His purpose and for puncturing
My own pomposity in the midst of beginning a typical day
Loved and valued and tenderly handled by the creator
Of the galaxies and every star, this scurrying hedgehog and me.
May 7, 2018
Man goes out to his work
and to his labor until the evening.
Oh LORD, how manifold are your works!
In wisdom have you made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.
Psalm 104: 23-24