• South Lyon Church

BEFORE DR. DOLITTLE


Dr. Dolittle was a beloved character in a series of children’s books from the 1920’s. The character was made into a movie in 1967 and then again in 1998. The story of a doctor who could converse with the animals and they could in turn talk back to him. A fun concept in both the movies and the series of books that were published before that.


Now, I’m not sure where Hugh Lofting got the idea for the book, but we can go back in history and see the concept was already there. Though in this case, it wasn’t as fun loving as the later books and movies. We go to the book of Numbers (don’t let that word scare you, some of the greatest aspects of the Old Testament are found there). Go to chapter 22 and start around verse 22. Here we see Balaam and his donkey carrying on a conversation. Was this the first? I don’t know, but it was well before the idea of Dr. Dolittle came along.


What has always intrigued me about this, is it just seemed common place for the donkey to talk. Was this a common occurrence? Did Noah have some conversations with the animals on the ark? The iguana bringing it up to Noah that the elephants were taking up too much space? Were they concerned that the big elephant’s foot would crush them? Or maybe Noah greeted each of the animals coming onto the ark and they in turn thanked him for building it. So, I don’t know if this was common place conversation, but I do believe Balaam and the donkey he was riding had a verbal exchange.


If you think of how this could happen, it is quite simple, God is Creator! Trees are green with leaves, flowers are blooming or have bloomed or will bloom. How do they know when to bloom? Why do they bloom at different times? The staggered blooming does work well for the bees that collect the nectar, and in the process pollinate the different flowers. So, yeah, I can see how something beyond my understanding, my ability to control, could happen. God is Creator!

It is going to be rather warm the next few days. Take some time think about why it is warm. The sun, the tilt of the earth, the jet stream, the. . . okay, I will stop with the meteorology lesson. I do understand the how, the why. But who put the sun there? Placed the earth at just the right distance? That is Who we claim to follow.


So when you see animals this week, think of Dr. Dolittle, but don’t stop there. Think of how an animal could actually talk. Then think of the Creator—the one who can do greater things than seen in any movie or storybook.