Sit! Sit!! Good Boy!!!
Jesus is right, worrying about things won’t help us at all. Yet, he also in other places, tells us to count the cost and plan ahead. It is good to look at animals in nature and see how they have what they need. And remind ourselves of how much damage we have done to the environment. We could plan ahead for how we will heal the land, the environment instead of sitting around fretting.
And, maybe that is what Jesus wanted: instead of worrying, though there is a lot to worry about, maybe we should be doing something to make things better.
I believe our companion animals make our lives better and I also enjoy the deer that roam through our yard a few times a day. The birds at the bird feeder bring me joy.
And as I consider that we, who are mostly middle class folks who can afford our vet bills--most of the time, I also am reminded of the relationships I see among the residents of the homeless encampment. Their animals mean the world to them. For some of them, their companion animal is the only entity that shows them constant affection, the only love they can count on.
For example, Trinity was a great dog! Was she a perfect specimen? Probably not. She had been rescued from a puppy mill where she produced one litter of pups after another. She was a white pit bull and such a sweetheart. I really enjoyed spending time with her. Her companion human was homeless when I first met them and his first priority was always feeding and caring for Trinity. He had a container on a roller that had her toys, her food, her pet bed and blankets in it. His things were often in a smaller container or left behind at whatever spot they had staked out for the night-her stuff traveled with them so it wouldn’t be stolen. There was quite a good turnout for her funeral. She was a good girl!
And there was Roscoe--same story on his care. Vet bills were paid before anything else so he was in top shape. Roscoe, too, is gone. His human companion got him when he was so young that he was bottle fed the first few weeks. He is still greatly missed. When we would take sandwiches out under the bridge in Aberdeen, I always had treats for Roscoe--and regular dog food, too. He was a good boy! His human has a new friend named Shorty.
When you are homeless with a pet, you do have to plan ahead to make sure you have what you need. And God cares about all the animals--no matter if they are wild or owned by someone who can easily afford their care or someone who can barely scrape it together.
What I want to remind all of us is that the organizations we support each year on this day from the offering plate care very much about companion animals. Whether it is a cat or a dog or something more exotic, there is compassion for animals that do not have homes. And I would hope we would extend that compassion to our fellow humans who do not have shelter, either.
May all of us whether human or other animal have shelter where we can stay warm and dry and well fed. So don’t sit around worrying about things you can’t fix.
But do plan for the things you can do to make life better. And I hope that all the dogs and cats I have met in the camps have a good and sheltered winter out of the cold: Shorty, CJ, Jackson, Garfield, and all the others that I know. Good boys and good girls all!