Saturday, September 11, 2010

In Wisdom they are all made......ugh!

We plan to spend the day at Hollow Creek Farm helping them wash dogs in preparation for the happy canines going to their new homes. This is a wonderful event, and one I am glad to be part of. We even cajoled some new friends into joining us and help with the ongoing fence building/poop scooping projects that are never-ending at an animal rescue farm. With the farm nestled in the country an hour south of Charlotte, it is not always easy to find time to get out there, but I am always glad when I do.

"Because," I told Asherel one day, "We are commanded by God to treat animals kindly."
Voices were raised about me, skeptical as to the Biblical basis for that comment. I won't name any names about the heathens challenging my biblical knowledge. The challenger knows that while I may perhaps get the correct gist  of the verse, I rarely know how to retrieve it.
"I mean, of course we should treat animals well, but I just don't think we are commanded to do so," continued the Skeptic of my biblical accuracy.

"Yes, we are," I countered,"It is in Psalms somewhere. It is written on the door of the pet shop in Carmel Commons."
"It is not!" said Asherel, who watches all pet shop doors with eagle eyes, prowling for another frilly outfit for her long suffering Honeybun.

"Et tu, Brutus? " I cried.

Now I assure you followers who read this blog faithfully hoping for nuggets of biblical wisdom to drop into your lap like jewelry from heaven that most of my biblical understanding is not gleaned from doors of pet shops. I do indeed read the Bible, at least a little, every day. Pet shop doors can be useful as biblical reinforcement, is all I am saying.

And two days ago, on our way up the stairs to the dentist at Carmel Commons, we passed that very pet shop door of which I had spoken. Asherel stopped dead in her tracks and said in amazement, "There is a verse on the door!"
"Have I ever lied to you?" I said.
And there it was, from Proverbs (ha!- I was close)-

Proverbs 12:10

A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal 

 which in the more colloquial version The Message Bible, translates to    

"Good people are good to their animals."

I smiled smugly as we walked by The Door.  I was less smug when the father of Asherel's new friend picked up a little snake in our front yard and held it tantalizingly close to my horrified face. I hate snakes. It is just a visceral response, and quite at odds with my love of all other creatures God has made.  Yet the man let the little snake slither all over his hands, and as I watched it, I did have to admit it had beautiful markings, it was remarkably well-behaved for a snake, and as Asherel kept repeating, it was small and even cute in a snakish way. I realized as I watched the snake that I am a hypocrite. I have realized this at various points in my life, but I knew right then that God was talking to me through the little snake. I am not supposed to just love the furry and cute creatures in His creation. I am to love them all. They all bear the marks of His hand. And similarly, sometimes, it is the most unlikely, most unlovable people that I am to work most hard at loving.  They were no less crafted by a loving God than me. I don't like to admit it, but I am quick to judge and quick to put at a distance the creatures that I don't find  compelling.

As the man put the little snake down, it quickly slithered away to a hole in the base of the tree, and I realized that was likely its home. I would have more opportunities to learn to love all creatures great and small. Oh goody.

Psalm 104: 24-25
 24 How many are your works, O LORD!
       In wisdom you made them all;
       the earth is full of your creatures.
 25 There is the sea, vast and spacious,
       teeming with creatures beyond number—
       living things both large and small.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Vicky for providing a few smiles weekly...and my Monday began with a snake in the is now dead, outside....

    And for the record, I despise snakes too...too bad they've been with mankind from the beginning...and sin remains in this world
    Even more reason for us to despise snakes!