Updated: Mar 16, 2021
Romans 8:18-23, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.”
If you haven’t seen or heard of Cartoon Saloon Studios before, you really should check them out. Especially if you love Celtic culture or classic 2D animation. They produced some of the loveliest and uniquely stylized films in recent years like The Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea. (I think I might fawn over those later.) Anyway, they just recently released their latest tale, Wolfwalkers, digitally on AppleTv+, and though I haven’t watched the movie yet, I’ve seen enough promo clips to already know it’s another sublime work of art. Now, because I hadn’t seen the whole thing, I can’t fully assess Wolfwalkers’s Biblical integrity. I’ll have to wait and see for that. However, there is a scene they released publicly that completely captivated me and hearkens to one of God’s promises that I anticipate very much. So much so, that I wanted to talk about it.
I’ll leave a link at the bottom of this blog so you can watch this scene for yourselves, but here’s a quick rundown of what occurs. (Don’t worry. Spoiler free!) Robyn, our protagonist, had just become a wolfwalker - someone who’s soul turns into a wolf while they sleep. The terrified girl seeks help from the only wolfwalker she knows, Mebh. Now, Mebh can’t undo Robyn’s new nature. Instead, she shows Robyn how fantastic being a wolfwalker can be. She thus invites her to join her pack on a midnight run. What follows is a stirring sequence of swirling colors as Robyn and Mebh speed through a forest of watercolors to a Celtic rendition of Aurora’s “Running with the Wolves”.
Now, my brief exposé doesn’t do it justice. You really should see it for yourself. (I even heard the whole thing was hand-drawn. HAND-DRAWN!!!) The first time I watched it, I hit the replay over and over. I pondered what marvelous creations wolves really are. For all their notorious fierceness, they indeed are powerful and beautiful animals. A sudden desire to join the characters myself awakened within me. I wanted to run through that forest with the wolves, taking in the silver moonlight and crisp autumn rain. Then it hit me. We human beings, in one way or another, long to reconnect with nature and all its beauty, don’t we. We wish parts of it weren’t so dangerous, and that we could dwell with the entire animal kingdom without fear. And you know what? That makes total Biblical sense.
Think about it. God created mankind to bear His image and shepherd the earth. Adam named every animal kind and lived closely with them in the Garden. Then we sinned, and the ground was accursed because of us. Docile creatures turn wild, some even bloodthirsty, and later on God put the fear of man into them after the Flood. Sin didn’t just cut us off from God and the spiritual side of creation. It fractured our relationship with earth’s nature too. It’s tragic, and yet there remains a piece of us deep within our members that remembers that past reality or at the very least knows how it was meant to be. It’s literally innate, and we clearly ache for it. Good thing then that the Maker of all things promised a restoration.
Our world is akin to those fantasy stories we love so much. When rising evil encroaches, the ancient wonders fade into memory, then story, then myth. We mourn for the things of the past, yet like an eroding stone, the next generation remembers them less than the last, until it’s forgotten or dismissed as fairytales. For us, here in reality, that was Eden - the age of our roots. The age where God, men, angels, and animals were harmonious. All of heaven and all of earth were one. Yet, same as those stories where goodness has been lost, hope prevails, and in our case we have more than hope.
God’s plan, through the sacrifice of His Son, wasn’t solely for the rescue of men. It was the chiefest reason to be sure, but He’s set His sights even beyond that. It was key to accomplishing His plan to restore all creation unto Himself. That means all of it. “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind.” (Isaiah 65:17) “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away,” (Revelation 21:1a) God shall return for what is His and pluck out all that is not. This time it’ll be sin and death that fades as though into myths. Christians, God’s redeemed people, will dwell in His kingdom, and angels, men, and animals will reunite in perfect harmony before the King once again. Our ache for such a reality will be realized, and I for one can’t wait until I truly can run with the wolves and praise His name before the newly restored animal kingdom.
Wolfwalker Scene: https://youtu.be/0gRFpB77hnU
Isaiah 11:6, 9, “The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them. . . . They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.”