Ministers are accustomed to fielding questions that are theological in nature. It’s what we’ve been trained to do, and it comes with the territory. Oftentimes, though, we receive questions that appear mundane on the surface, yet are still steeped in theological significance.
Last week, a church member said, “I have a question for you.”
“Okay,” I responded.
“What’s the point of crows anyway?” he continued.
I suppose that if this question had been directed toward an ecologist, the ecologist may have attempted to answer by focusing attention upon the food chain, or “the sequence of transfers of matter and energy in the form of food from organism to organism.”
If the question had been posed to an animal behavioralist, the animal behavioralist may have been inclined to answer by noting that crows are among the smartest animals in the world, capable of making rule-guided decisions and of creating and using tools.
If the same question had been posed to a farmer, the farmer may have answered, “crows are complete nuisances. They devour my crops. That’s why I do everything I can to scare them away. See those weird looking straw people over there? They’re called scare crows for a reason.”
But the question was asked of a minister, and I said, “yeah, you could ask the same thing about cockroaches.” (In my book, squirrels are just one notch higher.)
On more serious examination, though, there is a theological perspective that’s worth considering. God, the author and giver of all life, has created our world and the creatures that dwell therein. Each serves a particular purpose for the greater good. Without them, other parts of the system would fall into disarray.
Let us pray:
Dear God, thank you for this complex system that we call earth. Help us to be patient with those parts of your system that we do not understand and those that do not bring us joy. Help us to see the need for all of your creatures. In Christ’s name we ask it. Amen.
Peace and best wishes,