Chapter 16 Adilah: Animals and Laughter

The scream echoed around the cabins, and everyone stopped what they were doing.

Adilah came running from the tree line, a look of fear written on her face.

“What’s the matter?” asked Harmony, brushing dirt from her hands and standing upright in the vegetable patch.

“Snake!!!” yelled Adilah.

For a second Harmony’s heart leapt into her mouth, but she soon controlled her reaction.

“Wait, Adilah! Wait!”

Adilah turned and ran furiously on the spot as if still trying to shake the snake off herself.

Harmony approached her with hands held out. She very gently touched Adilah’s elbows, bringing her to a breathless pause.

“Adilah, no animal will kill you here, they no longer have the desire to kill other things in order to eat or protect. It’s ok… It’s ok.”

Adilah looked at Harmony, fear still in her eyes.

“It was a big one!”

Soon enough Adilah was sunk deep into her favourite armchair, sipping gratefully from a hot cup of cocoa. “I have a question, Harmony, but it’s ok if you don’t know the answer.”

“Sure thing, honey – what is it?” said Harmony, who was sitting next to her, knitting a huge quilt.

“Animals. Why was it so many animals would kill and eat one another? And kill humans, too? Why was nature so violent if God made it all and God is only love?”

“Gosh, that is a big one, Addy! I will try and answer from my own thinking on this. Everything on the old earth was designed to ensure the increase of sentient beings. Papa wants relationship with as wide a variety of beings as possible. However, he knew that it was possible for a species to multiply beyond the ability of its habitat to support. Thus, he created predators to those species to keep the balance of nature in place. God knew that he would resurrect the essence in each creature with a conscience, so the design compromise that he had to make of allowing animals (and humans) to kill others was acceptable.

Things are different on the New Earth, no species increases through reproduction, only resurrection. So, God can ensure the essential balance required in each ecosystem is maintained.”

“In Africa, we had to be so careful. Snakes, scorpions, spiders – they could all kill you! Why would God allow this?”

“I believe that each species was designed to fit a position within its local ecosystem, usually this involved it being provided with ways to obtain food, to protect itself and its kind, to survive on that planet. There was no evil in this, only a natural desire to exist. God has removed these old fleshly desires and established different ways to ensure the eco-balance on the New Earth. The flesh of all creatures now has different desires, ones that allow a balanced ecosystem to be sustained for eternity.”

“I still don’t understand why death had to be in the process at all,” said Adilah thoughtfully.

“On the old earth death was essential to prevent populations becoming out of balance. If new additions were added to a population without others being removed through death the local environment would quickly become overloaded. Death was a part of that stage in God’s overall plan. It is the transition from one Age to another. It looked very frightening from the perspective of a creature in the Previous Age. Most did not know what was beyond it or trust in the creator to hold them through the transition.

Let me ask you something about your experience?”

“Of course,” said Adilah, smiling with her beautiful shy smile.

“When you died, did you feel fear?”

Adilah thought for a moment.

“I felt fear when I was in the flames. The pain was so bad that I didn’t have a chance to think clearly but I was fearful. Then my body began to shut down. I survived for about a week, all the time I was losing my body. My hair had been burned off, and my face disfigured. Somehow though, underneath all the pain and suffering, I had a peace. I knew Friend was with me. In the last two days I felt no pain and I was in a strange sleep. I didn’t dream but I did know someone was with me and I was happy to leave my suffering behind. Friend gave me a feeling that I was going to be ok, I can’t describe it. I can’t tell you exactly when I died. The next thing I knew I woke up in Jesus’ home and … here I am.”

“Yes, so I think that Ruach, the Holy Spirit, the one you call ‘Friend’, helps every living thing in those final moments to let go. Most people will not recognise her, but she works with the whole being of the person or creature in those moments. Even those who die quickly or suddenly, she comforts during their transition.

“So, every animal is raised?”

“Not every individual creature. But the life force that was hosted by a particular body returns to Papa and it can be re-assigned. All life is of God. All life is Papa sharing consciousness with creation.”

“So, creation is God?”

“All creatures live and move and have their being in Papa God, they are each an embodiment of the divine life, not the totality of it. Nothing exists apart from Papa.”

“Is that why you and Jesus calls God Papa?”

“Yes, Jesus is the Christ, the great example of the character of God. He is the full nature of God in a human being and shows us our maximum divine potential.

But God is also a personhood, the one Jesus calls Papa. We can relate to the ground of all being - the source of all - as a parent, a Papa, a Mama. God is Love. Love is the reason for everything. It’s the heart of the whole process, and where all things are heading – even snakes!”

“These thoughts are so big!” gasped Adilah and laughed.

“They are!” chuckled Harmony. “But everyone has Ages to explore them!”


Evening was Adilah’s favourite time of day. Several of the women in the community would gather in one of the cabins to sing. Communal singing was the warmest memory from her childhood. She loved the sound of the female voices singing in unison, and she took pride in her ability to harmonise.

“This should be something I’m good at,” laughed Harmony one evening, “given my name.”

This tickled Adilah very much and she kept laughing whilst singing which sent the other singers off into contagious giggles until everyone in the cabin was laughing at each other so hard that some were screaming with hilarity.

Dropping her fork, Margot heard the cacophony and came running from the other side of the camp. Thinking something was wrong, she burst in to Adilah’s cabin to find women strewn about the main living room in various stages of incapacity. Seeing the funny side of her own rush to action, Margot began to giggle until she, too, was leaning on Harmony, howling with laughter. The remaining women in the settlement were soon caught in the firestorm of joy and the ecstatic sound of mirth echoed through the trees.

The whole community was left exhausted by the fit of giggles. Harmony was mainly amused by how funny her simple pun had seemed to Adilah. The situation broke something in the community, and now laughter was far more easily accessed by the women. Humour began to become part of everyday interaction and smiles were noticeably easier to come by.

“This has begun to happen in our settlement, too,” Anne said to Harmony as they compared notes on an evening walk. “And what is apparent to me, is that the women are more easily able to access their full range of emotions because of it.”

“Yes, tears of sadness flow more easily too,” agreed Harmony.