“But ask the animals what they think—let them teach you; let the birds tell you what’s going on. Put your ear to the earth—learn the basics. Listen—the fish in the ocean will tell you their stories. Isn’t it clear that they all know and agree that God is sovereign, that he holds all things in his hand…” Job 12:7-10
We listened to and talked about the animals a lot this week, which happened to be our 2nd-4th grade retreat at Hopetown. In fact, the animals reminded us not only of truth, but of who we are and, most importantly, of hope. And we believe the animals have something to teach the little people in your life, as well.
We started talking about the animals at Hopetown—and how we have seen so many this summer, from racoons to beavers to eagles to deer. And every one of those animals God uses to teach us something. And every one of those animals has an attribute that we can all strive to be more likely. They include:
The Eagle, who is Strong. See Isaiah 40:31
The Deer, who is Brave. See Habakkuk 3:19
The Ant, who is Helpful. See Proverbs 6:6-8
The Sparrow, who is Joyful. See Matthew 6:25-26
The Dog, who is Loyal and Friendly. See Numbers 14:24
The Owl, who is Loving. See Isaiah 34:15
The Dove, who is Peaceful and Gentle. See Matthew 10:16
The Calf, who is Playful. See Malachi 4:2
Every evening during camp, the kids had an opportunity to talk about what they had seen in each other that day. And then, when they had seen another camper who showed the attributes of one of these animals, they gave them a bead to represent that animal. And so each child went home with a bracelet full of beads representing the bravery and strength and gentleness they showed to others over the course of the week.