When invited to identify specific blessings they receive from their pets, people often name such things as unconditional love, companionship, protection, meeting their need to be needed, motivation to walk daily, playfulness, and contentment. Some also speak of the roles their companion animals play in helping them maintain their independence and providing services to help them manage disabilities. Others describe how caring for pets has helped their children learn to become more responsible, patient, and compassionate.
Animals are a blessing, both in what they provide to us and in their intrinsic value as beloved members of God’s creation. In Psalm 104, the psalmist praises God for the wonderful diversity of all that God has made, including creatures large and small, of land and sea. As we participate in blessing the animals, we become more aware of all the creatures, wild and tame, with whom we share the earth.
This message is excerpted from “Living creatures of every kind” by Julie Kanarr in the October 2017 Gather magazine. Today we commemorate Francis of Assisi, renewer of the church, 1226; and Theodor Fliedner, renewer of society, 1864.
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