“Care of creation is not just something God spoke of at the dawn of history: he entrusts it to each of us as part of his plan.”-Pope Francis
Recently my family has been dealing with animal issues. Our dog, Rossco (or Roscoe as I like to spell it), has always been anxious. Prior to our ownership, he was a rescue dog, prior to that he was outrageously abused by his original owners. It is sad to see the effect lawn mowers, fireworks, lightning, the color blue, the wind, etc. has on this poor guy. I know most dogs have issues with the sounds, but his are like 10 to 20 times worse…just look at the picture above. This picture was taken on trash day. My wife and I believe he got so anxious about the sound he broke down the basement door, tore into a sheet of insulation, and clawed his way through the back of the drywall that was built for fire resistance in our garage. Yeah, fire resistant, not crazy animal resistant.
Needless to say I was pretty upset. I came into the basement, and then I heard his claws clicking up the stairs, so I followed. His eyes at the top of the steps met mine at the bottom. His ears went back, my voice went up, his back arched, my voice went down because I knew what was coming…he peed! Then I felt bad. I took him outside, then I took him downstairs and I told him sternly “This is bad!” Finally, he calmed down and I had to show him he did not lose my love or care with some gentle pats on the head.
My wife and I are animal lovers. We have three cats and one dog, but I am sure if we had more room we would have more. All the animals are rescued and have a special place in our hearts. We treat them like our children; in fact, my wife calls them our “fur babies”. We had them all prior to having our first child, so I guess she is correct.
For some, animals are just animals. There is no connection. However, there are many that share the same feeling my wife and I have for these four legged creatures (some 8 or none or three if there was an accident). God gave us these creatures to take care of. In fact, He even checked all the animals to see if they were a suitable helper for Adam before he made Eve (Gen. 2:20). God gave man and woman dominion over the animals and a role to play in the lives of those animals. They were a part of the creation too and God expected man to take care of them as well.
As we walk this earth with these creatures big and small, let us embrace our role to care for them. It is our responsibility. I am not trying to say do not eat meat, because I love a good steak, but I am saying treat the animals well. I am not saying, do not discipline your animals, because that is our role too, but please do not abuse them or your authority over them. We are man, they are animal, but we are all a part of the creation that God wants us to care for.
Question: How can the church be more active in taking care of creation? Do you already do something? If so, what and how is it working?