I remember the first time I realized that God has a masculine sense of humor. I was reading about sea cucumbers, nondescript little blobs of animals that are at the bottom of the ocean food chain. They are mostly sedentary, but if threatened can defend themselves by ejecting part of their internal organs. This is called eviscerating. While a predator is munching the jetsam, the sea cucumber can swim to safety and regrow its organs. Another weapon in its arsenal is a toxic substance that it can eject, which poisons creatures nearby. According to Wikipedia, the toxin is similar to soap. Apparently, some creatures that live underwater cannot tolerate soap. Go figure.
So, as I was saying, they are sea blobs that shoot out part of their insides and, when they’re really mad, they spit soap. You know that’s a guy joke.
My new favorite animal is equally bizarre. This is the cuttlefish, which I knew nothing about until I watched the Nova special (“Kings of Camouflage”) online. Apparently, cuttlefish not only change colors, they are shape-shifters as well. They’re invertebrates, and their outrageously flexible skin can stretch into different shapes and change colors at will. According to Wikipedia, they have layers of skin pigmentation with 200 specialized pigment cells per square inch, which is about 350 dpi. In other words, their skin has about the same resolution quality as an inkjet printer, and they can mimic patterns in their environment as well as basic colors.
What could be better than that? How about three hearts, green-blue blood, and eight arms coming out of their heads. As I watched Nova, I got the distinct impression that God was amusing Himself when He invented cuttlefish. They put on a show that Hollywood couldn’t top with CGI and special effects.
We so seldom think of God as being entertained by His creation. Perhaps that would sound more pious if I said that He is delighted with His creation. Fallen and imperfect as the world most definitely is, there must still be endless moments when God takes pleasure in gazing at what He has made.
May I suggest that we might be better people if we learned to do the same. Friday was a heavy day for me, full of anxiety and concern. Today, I find myself back in the hospital with a loved one. And yet I was thrilled and delighted yesterday by a program about cuttlefish, as if God were letting me take a time-out from life while He delighted me with something playful and amusing that only He could invent. We get so bowed down and aged by life that we forget that we are, after all, only children of our Father. Do we imagine that God has no time for playing in the nursery? Once I would have thought so, but the older I get the younger I act.