Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Blessing of the Animals

Freshly brushed, with a spring in his step,
Edward went to church today.
The Sunday dawn gleamed with perfection, one of those early October blessings in and of itself, complete with an cheerful quality to the light, and a nip in the breeze that made one glad to be even a small part of creation. The majestic atmosphere of the old cathedral was only enhanced by the presence of so many of God’s creatures - family members not normally in attendance. Stained-glass saints looked kindly down from their windows as bejeweled matrons sat serenely holding look-alike Persian cats while tweedy gentlemen entered beside their stout and hardy Bulldogs. Delighted children carried in fat new puppies sporting bows for collars, a pair of noble harlequin Great Danes strode calmly down the center aisle alongside scampering Westies, perpetually smiling Golden Retrievers and inquisitive Beagles. A grey kitten was on a leash. Near the front, a dignified white Standard Poodle sat upright and reverent in his pew, while a timid little woman in brown perched with one small hand protectively resting atop an ornate, golden birdcage. The congregation rose to sing “All Creatures Great and Small” and when the priest spoke of the depth of God’s love and care for these good friends of ours - both those present and those gone on before us - more than a few tears filled human eyes.
When the priest placed his hand on Edward’s fluffy head, spoke his name, and blessed him as one of God’s sweet wonders, I realized once again how fortunate I am to share my life with a wonderful, loving animal.
Truly a blessing. For both of us.

"I care not for a man's religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it."
Abraham Lincoln