|When I first picked up this book it was based on a single statement I read in a review blurb: “Even the animals know their Creator.” The story of relationship between an animal researcher and her gorilla charge, this book is simple but profoundly resonant. The tale evolves from one of intimacy with humanity to intimacy with God, and the ways that the animals teach their keepers is exciting to witness. One of the main characters, Sema the gorilla, is as interesting and captivating as any human subject has ever been, and her journey is one of poignancy and revelation. My heart soared through the final third of the book, and I read for hours upon hours because I could not find a suitable stopping point. In the end, I found myself praying to my God to open my eyes further to His Creation that I seem to take for granted so very often. Unspoken was a delightful way to begin this summer.
Nana’s fingertip gently circled the rim of her mug. “I believe the Bible, and Scripture tells us all creatures are eagerly waiting for the day when God will reveal himself. The animals didn’t sin, you see. But because God placed them under man’s dominion, they have suffered and died along with us. Against its will, everything on earth was subjected to God’s curse. God didn’t institute death in the Garden of Eden; man did.”
Fielding shook his head. “I’m sorry, but I’ve always had a hard time with that. People say God is good and perfect—how, then, could he create evil?”
“Evil is not a tangible creation.” Nana’s gentle smile assured me that she enjoyed this gentle sparring. “It is a consequence; it is the negation of good. Our Creator endowed us with a great gift—the freedom to obey God, who is goodness—or to reject God, which is sin.”
Fielding nodded, thought working in his eyes. “And sin results… in evil.”
“Yes.” Nana focused on Fielding, an almost imperceptible note of pleading in her face. “Free will is a good thing, but it can result in bad decisions and dire consequences. For thousands of years men have paid dearly for their freedom of choice. Because they are so closely linked to us, the animals have paid dearly as well.” (Chapter 38, pp. 261-262)