It was a face I won’t forget soon. Cute, tender, naïve, and full of need; my heart went out to this poor creature. Hairy in some parts, eyes clear, speaking of wonder and a willingness to learn, he was the kind that needed his mommy desperately, yet she had died from a horrible turf war where food was scarce and in desperation. It was a movie I was watching today with four children, two of my own, two nieces, that spoke volumes to me. I know I know; I’m writing about a movie character. A chimpanzee no less.
I went to the theaters because it was dollar movie day, and I couldn’t pass up almost two full hours in air conditioning when my house was sultry and condensed with four screaming kids running around with nothing to do but play in the sprinklers and on our slip and slide. Coupled with this stark reality that moved me beyond my comfort zones and my ability to cope with medication that enhanced my irritability, was my five month old who seemed to have a knack for getting his first teeth in. Oh the joys of teething.
I felt like banging my head against a wall. But the kids have nothing to do with it really; it’s my own character flaw that is being squeezed out with this medication I’m on. I need to focus on giving grace, on loving, on sacrificing my own issues for the sake of the children. Kelly had been watching all the kids the previous day, and I vowed to help out more so I took the kids to watch Chimpanzee by Disney (A documentary, not cartoon). It was the least I could do as I was growing more and more disgusted with myself. I don’t like these meds.
But the movie hit me. In fact, it rocked me. This little face, that of Oscar, purged me today of myself. It wasn’t Oscar either, for I saw myself in that face. It was what happened to him that moved me. With mother dead, he had to fend for himself, yet the torrents of life as a chimp meant no one would care for him; all the other mothers were caring for their own children. The situation was dire; no one would feed him; the source of his food, milk, nuts, etc., were all prepared by his mother. Now that she was gone he had no one. And he tried! You could see it in his interactions. He lay there on the ground, growing thinner by the moment, without hope really.
In walks the patriarch of the group; a chimp named Freddy. Oscar followed close by yet no males take care of the young, especially not the number one male. He had things to do; he was king of their group. Oscar was the lowest ranking male; they were polar opposites. But what is captured on video astonished me. This head male, slowly, allowed Oscar to follow him and learn. Then he takes Oscar and places him on his back, and within days, adopts Oscar as his own. He even forsakes the others so that Oscar is taken care of. They sleep together, cuddle, and Freddy becomes his surrogate mother in adoption.
This was such a picture of Christ to me. Freddy even takes on the other leader of another group of chimps responsible for Oscar’s mother’s death, and wins the day. Christ has done this for me. This world has left me homeless and without hope. In walks Christ, my King, and holds His hand out, looks at my hopelessness, my diseases, my shame, and answers with Himself. He left the ninety nine and came and found me. I was dead, yet He breathed new life into me. I am Oscar. Christ, my King, is everything. He defeated death, He defeated sin, and He does this out of His great love that He didn’t have to share or pour upon me. Yet He did. Now. Now. Now I have hope. Glorious hope.
He is my anchor, my Rose of Sharon, and He has fragranced my life and forever changed me. I just need to stay close to Daddy, and everything will be fine.