pets: on love, created beauty and theology

cat-pets-pj

 

Pets are far more than they may present at first glance. Some may look on them like they see small children: messy, unpredictable, noisy, uncontrollable and hard to locate sometimes. But for those who love them, they’re constant soul companions and loving, faithful friends.

Animals point to the beauty of created things, the unlimited, unconditional love which God poured into making earth a haven for us. They are great reminders of God’s goodness toward us, bringing pleasure as well as purpose into our lives.

“The difference between friends and pets is that friends we allow into our company, pets we allow into our solitude” ~ Robert Brault

Maybe pets could be thought of as a way in which God speaks out His faithful presence, His constant love and affection for His children. We had quite a menagerie of rabbits, cats, mice, budgerigars and hamsters when I was growing up, all of which taught me a degree of responsibility—though I confess to once zealously overfeeding a goldfish until it died!

“Love the animals: God has given them the rudiments of thought and joy untroubled” ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky

These days we have no pets and I mourn their loss, though I enjoy a stray cat or two wandering around our garden seeking attention. Our grandson has had a whole host of animals to observe, touch and marvel over in his three short years. The haiku and photos below have come from his experiences. I tried to limit myself to three! They also link to Ronovan Hester’s inspiring poetic site and this week’s haiku poetry prompt challenge of ‘Pet and Play’.

Playing with farmyard pets

Hens scratch at pellets

Seed scattered as tiny tots

Play with farmyard pets

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Christmas capers

Cat’s hopped in a box

She’s longing to play with those

stray wisps of tinsel

haiku-cat-in-a-box-pj

 

Boy meets tortoise

Boy meets tortoise

Baffled by its clay-like shell

Should he pet or play?

haiku-boy-meets-tortoise

 

You might wonder why I am speaking about animals in this Advent season, but they do have a large role in our lives, as well as in Nativity plays. And in our theology, we speak of Christ as the sacrificial  Lamb who was slain, and the Lion of Judah when He finally comes to rule and reign.

So as you hug your pets, or simply appreciate the animals you see, maybe you can think of those things and be grateful for their presence in your life, the way they point to God’s grace in the everyday.

I’d love to hear about your pets. Do join in the conversation below…

Sensing His Presence

Come away for a while. Sink into a comfortable seat. Resist all rush and hurry. Rest your weary body. Ready yourself to receive from the Lord.

Breathe deep ~ be calm ~ find a place of stillness and peace.

God is with us ~ we are on holy ground.

Seeking the supernatural in the natural.

Experiencing the extraordinary in the ordinary.

Each time we make space for God’s glorious Presence, He enlarges our appetite for it ~ a holy hunger develops.

The new year could be a time ~ of deliberate listening ~ to those Holy echoes in mind and heart ~ whispers on the wind ~ as God imparts His life to us ~ in a journey without end.

In the awareness, attention is required, a stilling of the soul, a watching and waiting, every sense attuned and alert.

I have heard prayer whispers intermittently throughout this year, and they are speaking to me more as I re-read them.

Now I sense a call, not just to ‘Come’ and approach His throne of grace but to linger, lean hard, and listen… the word He has given me for 2014.

And the first thing to heed is how God makes Himself known to us in myriad ways as the poem below describes.

‘I AM’

I AM

earthquake and volcano’s fiery outpour

waves lapping gently on the shore

wind ripping leaves straight off the trees

the soft caress of a mid-summer breeze

Grey fog and mist obscuring the view

an irredescent-coloured rainbow hue

a wake-up trumpet’s strident sound

peace and stillness in the air around

I AM

The One who has tasted salty tears

brought joy and comfort to your years

stamped upon all your enemies and foes

walked Earth with sand beneath my toes

Who felt forsaken on the cross

as I defeated sin, death and loss

cried out in nail-pierced agony

to secure your forgiveness and set you free

I AM

The Lion of Judah’s victory roar

as I keep you safe for evermore

blood and water, Spirit and Life

to heal, restore and deliver from strife

Songs of praise without an end

your beloved and closest Friend

echoes throughout human history

whispers on the wind ~ Holy mystery

©JoyLenton2013

I would be honoured if you would join me in learning how to listen better to God in 2014 as I aim to keep a prayer journal, share ‘Prayer Whispers’ and poetic inspirations here and write longer blog posts about my discoveries on Words of Joy.

May you be filled with a sense of awe and wonder and be greatly blessed in seeking and sensing His Presence in the year ahead. You can also join in with #oneword365 here.

Happy New Year to you!