Leaves and the platypus and love 

Autumn flaunted its colors big time during a trip I took to Shreveport on Saturday. Patches of yellow here. Clusters of red there. Tufts of orange intermingled. Even through the raindrops the hues reverberated. 

It doesn’t take much to get my mind to wandering – and wondering. That day was no different. 

I pondered: How long did it take God to decide what colors the trees should brandish in the fall? Did He contemplate this particular color palette for a while? Did He ever consider blue as a possibility? Or because He’s all-knowing, all-powerful and exists outside of time, did He just decide everything at once? 

I’ve also wondered other somewhat similar things about God. Although not everything is revealed to us and I accept that, it’s my belief that it doesn’t hurt to ask a few questions. Hopefully, none of what I’ve wondered and none of what I’m expressing here is irreverent.  

Some questions that I – and others – contemplate are age-old and very serious, such as why God created Satan and why suffering exists in the world. And what about Hitler? Was he insane or just the absolute epitome of evil?  

Of course, some things we won’t totally understand until we enter those pearly gates. Still, I like to contemplate.  

I mean, if I’m pondering about the color of trees, then what about the abundance of forms that are found in nature overall? Was there ever another plan for the platypus?  

And bioluminescence – how were those specific animals picked to showcase this tantalizing characteristic? I’m just glad that all of them don’t live underwater and that we can revel in the fireflies’ summertime magic. 

Plus, while we’re on the subject of animals, why did God create mosquitoes? There must have been a reason, but I had never been able to think of one – until today. After a quick web search I discovered the article “10 Benefits of Mosquitoes: How Are They Helpful to Humans?” So I guess I can scratch that question off my list. 

But what about dust? One time years ago, I decided that when I got to heaven I would ask God about both mosquitoes and dust (think the irritating gray layer that gathers on every single thing you own unless you actively fight it). Then I realized that we were created from the dust of the earth, so in that regard, it takes on a totally new significance. 

And while we’re talking about humans, what about all those UFOs? Is there anybody else in the universe besides us, and if so, what’s their story and their relationship to God? 

But in truth, I suspect that when I and others get to heaven, we won’t be thinking about any of these questions for a long, long time (yes, I know time doesn’t exist in heaven, but I don’t know any other way to say it). 

After we cast our crowns at Jesus’ feet, after we unceasingly praise God’s name via eternity’s version of “replay” (how could we not do that?), after we find our loved ones, after we meet Abraham and Moses and Paul and Peter, after we sing the new song and hopefully some of the old ones as well, after we marvel at the unimaginable beauty of our eternal home …. 

Maybe then … maybe then we’ll think to ask questions. But I’ll wager that for the first 10,000 years, those queries won’t be about trees or lightning bugs or even sunsets, although what a thrill it would be to get a science lesson from the Creator. 

I think my first question might be: Can you explain the love it took to create us when you knew we would mess everything up and you would have to offer your Son to make things right again?  

And … why me, Lord, when I am so unworthy? Then after the answer … the praising resumes.  


Sallie Rose Hollis lives in Ruston and retired from Louisiana Tech as an associate professor of journalism and the assistant director of the News Bureau. She can be contacted at sallierose@mail.com.