I believe insomnia can be cured by youtubing videos of baby animals. I discovered the abundance of happiness that comes from baby animals during a 3 hour pharmacology lecture several years ago. A fellow classmate had her laptop opened and instead of typing her notes, she was watching videos of baby animals: puppies, otters, seals, kittens, and pandas. I may have missed a few bullet points in my notes as well, but I thoroughly enjoyed the 3 hours. Baby animals make me feel warm and fuzzy inside.
So yesterday, when I was trying to switch my sleep schedule, I reverted to searching “baby pandas” on Youtube. And of course, the plethora of adorable videos made my heart smile as I drifted off to sleep.
And as one would expect, I dreamt about baby pandas. I was driving under an overpass and on the side of the interstate were large, clear, glass jars. And in each jar was a panda. I realized these baby pandas had been abandoned on the side of the road and would die if they weren’t released from the canning jars. I kept driving though. Some time passed and I noticed I was at a batting cage, with several hundred people. And we were all looking at a grand piano. A lady in khakis was reaching into the piano and pulling out baby pandas one by one and tossing them in the air to be caught by a koala bear (yes, this is where the dream gets weird). The koala bear set each panda down on a safe bed of luscious grass. This continued until each baby panda was rescued from the grand piano and then they moved on to the baby pandas stuck in the giant canning jars.
And then I woke up.
Stranger than dreaming about baby pandas is the fact that I can’t stop thinking about these baby pandas. I think it’s because baby pandas are so stinkin’ cute. And because my dream about baby pandas makes me think about the kingdom of God.
See, I think the kingdom of God is something that is at hand, something I can be a part of. It’s also something I can see, but choose to keep driving right on by. Regardless, the kingdom of heaven is near and it is centered on God bringing things back to the way they were intended to be. Pandas were never meant to be stuffed in pianos or canning jars. And so with the kingdom of God comes restoration, renewal, regeneration. The lady in khakis, tossing baby pandas to a koala bear…it’s a forward motion, God reclaiming creation and taking it a step further. More beauty. More peace. More wholeness. More salvation. God is working, putting baby pandas back where they belong, and moving in my heart as well.
I think God’s work through Jesus was about more than just human salvation, but the salvation of everything, all creation. The creation that in the beginning held so much promise, possibility and potential has been cracked and broken. This world is fractured. I don’t have to look very far to see something out of place, wrong, splintered. Lies. Betrayal. Abuse. Disease. Things are not as they should be. We groan and wonder if this is forever. But I believe God is putting it all back together, one baby panda at a time.
So watch this video and let your heart smile, hope, and dream of good things.