Monday, 30 March 2020
18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.” 19 So out of the ground the Lord God formed every animal of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name.
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?
Every morning, if I am not up and moving by the time Wicket is ready for his breakfast, a couple of blonde paws appear on the side of my bed. First, his little front feet tap on the mattress for a couple of beats. Pause. They creep a little closer, becoming more insistent. Pat-pat-pat-pat. . . they’re creeping closer to tap my arm. And if that still doesn’t work, both paws and his nose are moving toward my face. I hear his tail whap-whap-whapping the nightstand next to us: his silent smile underscoring his increasingly resolute, “Good morning! I mean… it is a really good morning!! COME AND SEE THIS REALLY GOOD MORNING WITH ME, MOM!”
Without fail, as my feet hit the floor, Huckleberry is right there next to his brother. Both bundles of fluffy affection greet me with adoration and enthusiasm for the new day, dancing around me, showing me the way to the stairs that stand between us and their food bowls – between now and one of their favorite morning moments.
Thank God for our pets, these messengers and mediators of divine love in our lives! Many of them are as disoriented as we ourselves are, given how much time we’re spending at home with them as this Coronavirus crisis continues to unfold. But, God bless them, they’re adjusting and often helping us with our own coping, aren’t they?
Our Creation stories in Genesis 1 and 2 affirm the sacred place of animals in our human lives, and in the divine order of things. Jesus, in speaking to anxious people, encouraged them (us!) to pay attention to God’s attentiveness to the birds of the field, and take a lesson about how effective worrying is (not!) in light of the ways God cares for all things, including and especially human life.
One of the surprising delights about our Sunday morning “online” fellowship has been seeing the furry friends who bless and strengthen our lives. So far, it’s only been a guinea pig, cats, and dogs; I’m sure some of us have feathered friends, even some with scales. This morning, I had the thought that maybe one of our online services after Easter could be a bit of a show-and-tell-and-thanksgiving service that allows us to introduce to one another the creatures provide us such comfort, insight, connection.
But for today, let us give thanks for the birds of the air, the beasts and organisms of the fields and woodlands all around us, playing an integral role in the ecosystem that helps to sustain the life that feels so vulnerable at the moment. Consider the ways God cares for each of them, and how they, in turn, silently mediate God’s concern for us.
Prayer: God, thank you for the myriad creatures that remind us in such peaceful and powerful ways of your love and concern for us. Open our eyes and ears to the ways they are constantly moving all around us, bearing messages of your presence and provision even in times of stress. Amen.
Song: (click) “All Things Bright and Beautiful” (John Rutter version)