I was crushed with joy as I watched the plant devour the insect. A carnivorous green monster. I had just finished watching an choreographed ballet of nature. An orchestrated dance of survival, support, life and death. Every detail of the rain forest’s habitat was meticulously thought out, broken down step by step and explained in a video we watched in fifth grade science. Every living creature relied on another to survive, right down the this one carnivorous plant.
From shelter, to protection to simple nutrition, each was chained to another. If one link broke, the entire dance might crumble.
There was a moment of panic that washed over me. And yet joy. Tremendous amounts. Like buckets of cold water dumped over my head on a hot day.
“Michel?” my science teacher called.
I snapped up to look at her. She made a motion for me to come to her desk while the rest of the class watched.
“Is something wrong?” she asked.
My English was still rough, and I didn’t quite know the words to use to explain the battle of emotions I felt.
“The video,” I said. “It’s like a movie. Like a written movie.”
She nodded and returned my gaze with an amused smile. I thought maybe she understood what I meant, but I couldn’t tell for sure.
She told me she agreed that it was indeed spectacular. And yet she didn’t seem to recognize the horror of it all.
I wanted to scream at her, “God exists! He’s right here. He’s everywhere!”
As though with that warning shout, she or I or anybody might escape.
His judgement? His dominion? His sovereignty over all?
I wasn’t sure exactly what I needed to escape. I was 10 years old, raised in a Catholic home, but it was only then, after watching a science video about the revolving door of nature, that I became convinced of God’s existence for the first time.
A world of total chaos put in order before my eyes.
There was some relief in recognizing God, but also fear. If he could design a plant that fed off of the meat of insects, what else was he capable of? I didn’t know. But I was in awe of Him.
That was the first time I recognized God. The first time I couldn’t pretend He didn’t exist.
“What should I do now?” I asked myself, as though watching the byproduct of God’s nature on a TV screen required some kind of response.
I wasn’t sure then whether God was trying to greet me or warn me.
But one thing was for sure.
I was humbled.
What about You?
When was the first time you recognized God’s presence in this world or in your life?