An African Miracle – Perspective Corrections
“Another day, another impala”, thought Kefir. “Jeez! Sure, it’s great to have food again, but come on… how about some variety?” He harrumphed as he grudgingly munched on his impala. Variety or not, he wasn’t stupid enough to go hungry on principle.
You… seem confused. Right.
Maybe a bit of preface is in order. I believe that it’s always illuminating to try to look at alternate points of view to understand a story – even a fictional one. I thought it might be interesting to take a lion’s perspective for a bit. Kefir is a fictional name I’ve given to this lion in South Africa. I thought it might be interesting to look at Kefir’s point of view for a bit. Not the entire article – just a few paragraphs. So let’s get back to Kefir, shall we?
Kefir wasn’t alone. He had his gang of buds crouched over the impala, merrily ripping into the carcass, like the crass bunch of hooligans they were. They didn’t have the refined tastes or the sensitive taste palette of Kefir. He was different – while the others were having fun – actually enjoying what they ate – while he was suffering through the bland, rough meat, merely as a means to survive.
“Oh, God”, he thought, “If only you could give me some real food to eat. You know I’ve never asked for anything. Just a bite will do. Anything but this stupid impala.”
He sighed. Prayers shmayers – like that would ever work. He’d just have to suffer in si… wait a minute. What was that?
Was that…? Was that food coming his way? Tender, fresh, and juicy. A nicely accommodating human being just running right to him. He couldn’t believe his eyes. What a miracle! God had clearly answered his prayers!
A skeptic may argue that it was merely a coincidence, though he’d be pretty stupid to try arguing with a hungry lion. But Kefir could have made some good arguments too – Sure, he knew that coming across a human being hardly qualifies as a miracle. But usually, the humans he encountered were armed with loud lightning weapons; dangerous weapons that go boom. If not, they usually stayed behind noisy iron cages that rolled through the wild from time to time. At the very least, they try to hide or run into some such protected spaces. They were a protected species.
But here, Kefir had this unarmed, danger-free, free range human being walking – nay – running right to him. He was not even being quiet or trying to hide. In fact, he was actually making some weird noise. He wasn’t roaring; It felt more like he was mumbling something. Kefir didn’t know what, though. He never could understand these humans and their silly languages. But who cares? God just gave him what he wanted, and he was happy to jump right on it.
Unfortunately, Kefir only got a bite before the stupid human ran off. God’s such a tease. But hey, one bite is better than no bite at all, reasoned Kefir, as he happily strolled back to his gang. Besides, this miraculous treat from God will give him enough stories for the rest of his life. One thing continued to puzzle him, though. What in blazes was his food babbling about? He shrugged it off, however – it’s probably something only humans would ever understand.
Kefir was wrong, however. Humans would not have understood that babble either. Nope, Alec Ndiwane’s babblings were not coherent or meaningful in the strict sense of the words. There is no rational explanation to Ndiwane or his actions, but any reasonable attempt at it would have to start with his profession.
Ndiwane is prophet of a Zion Christian church, who was out on safari along with other churchmembers in South Africa. He suddenly got it into his head that it’s one swell opportunity to highlight how God will protect him from the savage beasts because ‘we were given dominion over all creatures on this Earth’.
As he ran to the pride of lions, he started ‘talking in tongues‘, which is seen by his community as a divine talent, and by most sane adults as babbling. By the time he realized his God did not have his back, he found out that the lion did, indeed, have his back in a very literal sense. He was mauled in his buttocks, and was saved only after a quick surgical patch-up job.
Ndiwane was left wondering why God didn’t answer his prayer. That depends on the point of view, right? I mean – Kefir’s prayers were answered. Maybe it was just his turn.
Now let’s look at ANOTHER point of view – mine. Here we have a semi-tragic dark comedy that involves a stereotypical overenthusiastic religious nutjob on a poorly documented African safari, on the evertrustworthy internet, with no official confirmation, where the guy makes an irrational faith-based blunder that gets him bitten on the funniest body part a third grader could think of.
It couldn’t be any more obvious that its a fake. But hey, if a dozen ‘news’ channels can harp on it online, I think I can use it for an article for a comedy site.