Has anyone ever looked at people who talk to their pets and treat them as though they are people and questioned their state of mind? I will confess that I am one of those people. While I recognize that there are animal lovers out there that make the way I treat our pets rather low key, I have been told on more than one occasions, "it's just a dog". What appalled me about such comments was that those words were often used as a means of justifying there was a limit to how much love and care should be bestowed on our four legged companions. The last time someone said that to me was when we were facing a big veterinary expense. "It's just a dog" was a way of saying we should just let our pet die. The way I look at our four legged family members is the reason that I enjoy reading stories of abandoned, malnourished, or abused animals turn around as a result of some tenderness, food, and love. Because of what I follow on social media, I see these stories on a regular basis. These stories always make my heart sing.
It also makes me think of what God has done for me. One of the stories that I have come across is of a female dog seeking help for her puppies and finding love for herself as well. When I walked into a church thirty-two years ago, I did so for the benefit of our sons. I was convinced it was too late for me because of choices I had made in my life. My thoughts were basically 'I had my chance and I turned my back on Him" That is why even to this day, when I recall feeling embraced and hearing the words "welcome home" whispered in my ear as I walked into that church building, my heart sings. I felt emotionally isolated. Even though such isolation was of my own making, it was still isolation. I was spiritually malnourished. I felt unloved. Although I had a loving wife and two sons and family that communicated they loved me, my life choices made me feel unlovable. Groucho Marx once said, "I would never join a club that would have me as a member." I always related to that quote. God welcomed me home. I no longer felt that isolation. I began to be spiritually nourished. I learned that God did not see me as unlovable, in spite of what I had done or what I thought of myself.
God said to Israel: ["Come now, let us reason together says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson they shall become like wool] All they had to do was be willing. Often abandoned pets require special care to be reminded they have worth and are loved. The transformation that occurs in an dog or cat that has been abused or abandoned after they find love and safety is astonishing. We find such love and safety in Christ.
Have a blessed Friday