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Creature Love

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Matthew 6:26 NIV

creature love“Nobody move! Hamster’s on the loose.”

Time and again as a child, I took my hamster from its cage and let it run freely. When the time came to return it to its cage, I lay sprawled on the living room floor, trapped it, and scooped it into my hands. This tiny creature, six inches long and weighing eight ounces, was mine to care for. I loved her. Hamsters live about two years, so I raised four of them and had each one eating out of my hand.

Pets have an important place in Western culture. They come in all varieties and provide comfort and companionship. The Lord Himself tells us He cares for the animals He made. God can use our pets to reveal His unconditional love and walk us through difficult times. No judgment, just love.

I delighted in the missionary assignment I once received to oversee the mission guesthouse for a month in a coastal resort town in Africa. Missionary families booked months ahead of time to reserve a week of their kids’ summer break to enjoy the beach.

What I didn’t anticipate was how lonely I would feel as a single person, watching families come and go. Then a new friend with tangles in his soft fur started hanging out with me on my daily walks to the beach. I called him Buddy. The neighbors didn’t know him, and the guests never saw him. He never begged for food. Buddy was a mystery. Africans do not have animals in their homes, and those on the streets fared poorly.

I’m convinced God sent His angel to me that summer in the form of a beautiful dog. His barks were smiles, and his playfulness endearing. He appeared and disappeared, as if on cue. He gave me renewed energy, made me laugh, and gave me hope. Who alone could do all that but God?

God never loses track of us, regardless of our circumstances. Although animals and people come and go throughout our lifetime, God is a constant presence. And sometimes, that presence comes through pets.

What are some ways you have experienced creature love?  

(photo courtesy of pixabay.com.)

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Deborah Payne

Deborah Payne is an educator in both the public and private sectors. Her passion is mentoring young believers. Deborah lives in Fort Wayne, IN, with her husband Bruce and playful cat Scooter.