Did you know that when God put that rainbow in the sky He not only made a covenant with Noah and all of mankind, He made a covenant with the animals as well! (Genesis 9:8-11)
Animals are not human and should not be treated as such. They were not made in the likeness and image of God, but He did choose to creat them and call them "good". It was said in a youth group meeting a few years back that it was pointless to love pets as they have no soul. But God often chooses the simple things to bring light to His simple children. He opened the eyes of Balaam's doneky when man refused to see. He used ravens as His servants to bring food to His prophet Elisha (1 Kings 17:5-6). Our Lord choose a stable as His birth place in the presense of the animals. Jesus rode into Jerusalem as King on the foal of a donkey. And He uses the example of His eye being on the sparrow to comfort us and help us to accept His special attention and love for us. And He chose to show us the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove.
We have experienced two losses this past week. Our black cat, Raven Paw, had to be put down due to complications from an injury sustained a few months ago. Our beloved black lab, Midnight Boo, was killed by a car the following morning. One does not know how an animal will affect one's life until that animal is gone. Now we have never been the sorts to treat the animals as people, but they have been companions and the greeting comittee. They have protected our home from man an mouse:) They were part of the running of our home. God has given us dominion over the animals. By doing so He has given us yet another opportunity to learn compassion and humility.
Farewell our little friends. Though it may seem silly to mourn the beasts of the earth, they were sweet companions to us and they will be missed. Our God is the God of all creation and He knows when each of His beloved creatures die.
Attributed to St. Basil the Great are two beautiful prayers for Animals:The earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof.
O God, enlarge within us the sense of fellowship with all living things, our brothers the animals to whom Thou gavest the earth as their home in common with us.
We remember with shame that in the past we have exercised the high dominion of man with ruthless cruelty so that the voice of the earth, which should have gone up to Thee in song has been a groan of travail.
May we realize that they live not for us alone, but for themselves and for Thee and that they love the sweetness of life even as we, and serve Thee better in their place than we in ours. (5)
For those, O Lord, the humble beasts, that bear with us the burden and heat of day, and offer their guileless lives for the well-being of mankind; and for the wild creatures, whom Thou hast made wise, strong, and beautiful, we supplicate for them Thy great tenderness of heart, for Thou hast promised to save both man and beast, and great is Thy loving kindness, O Master, Saviour of the world. (5)