Ok, so i knew that this year would be full of various experiences that i'd probably never experience back in Oz, but this one was waaay out of the blue. I guess life is all about who you know, cos tonight i just had one of the coolest experiences in being able to get up close and personal with a panda by patting and feeding it!!!
One of the guys in my cell group here is the head zoo keeper for the Panda's at the Chiang Mai Zoo (which means i can now get free entry to the zoo and to the Panda exhibit - nice connection eh?). Tonight, a few of us went around to Pi Dor's house (he lives at the zoo) for dinner, and as a after dinner treat we got to go visit the Panda's AND got more then we bargained for. Not only did we get to see them out of their normal enclosure, we got to feed and pat Lin Hui (the female panda). HOW COOL!!!
Cos Pi Dor works with them everyday, the Panda's know him and his voice. They're able to sit, hold hands, lie down and more at his command. It was SOOOOOO COOOOOLLLL!!!!! But one thing that really stood out was how cautious we all had to be in how close we were to the cage if Pi Dor wasn't with us, or if we didn't have food to give, or her hands/paws weren't holding the cage. Cos she could swipe us and knock us down and hurt us in an instant. Many of us only get the opportunity to look at the panda's from the comfort of the viewing platform at the zoo, or we have pet panda stuff toys, so our view of the reality isn't necessarily real. But the truth is, we need to be mindful of the reality of the animal that we're dealing with. If we don't treat it with care and the respect it deserves, it can knock us down. It's a bit like us and how we view God and respond to Him. Sometimes we can view God from a distance, or think of him as a cuddly bear who loves us and would never do anything to harm us. But if we look at the reality of the situation, God is a god who does love us enough to send Jesus to die for us, but it also means he takes sin SERIOUSLY, and if we keep on sinning or don't turn to Jesus, then we will have to face his wrath. Just cos we like to think of God as a loving God and don't like to think of his judgement and wrath, doesn't mean we are thinking correctly. God is a just and loving god! We have to make sure we respond to him as he deserves and demands!
Anyway, i'm still blown away by tonight. Here are a few pics of me and Lin Hui! :)
Me with Lin Hui
About to feed her some apple
Feeding her some apple
All gone now