Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Year of the Tiger (by Judy)

My son, his wife, and three precious grandchildren live in Shanghai, which is a challenge because they are so far away. It is also a blessing, for it gives me a world perspective, and it means I get to travel to that amazing country once a year.

Last week we received a thick envelope from them, with a beautiful Hallmark card inside, wishing us a happy Chinese new year – the Year of the Tiger. My first thought was admiration for Hallmark, and their alertness in recognizing every marketing opportunity around the world. But my attention was quickly diverted to the wonderful photograph on the front of the card. As you can see, five little tigers are front and center.

I then began to think about tigers. Now let me ask you a question – quick – when you hear the word “tiger” what comes to mind? Got your list? I started with William Blake’s “Tiger, tiger, burning bright,” which Miss Yarrington made us memorize in sixth grade. Then of course for my generation, there was Exxon’s “Put a tiger in your tank,” and Kellogg’s Tony the Tiger growling, “They’re gre-e-a-a-t!” Interesting that the tiger is so visible in advertisements. Why, I wonder?

I thought about that beautiful animal who is noble, filled with grace as he quietly walks the jungle with padded feet., moving easily, rarely taken by surprise. What can we Christians learn from this magnificent example of God’s creativity? Well, the Bible cautions us to be alert, be on guard, be watchful, be vigilant, think clearly, stay focused – lest we get caught in a trap laid by the evil one, or a trap of our own making.

Now to see William Blake’s poetic recognition of God’s hand in the creation of the tiger, check this link -… and Happy New Year!