A pet was lost today


July 2, 2107

Dear Friends:

Last night the camp one of it’s pets.  Evidently someone accidentally drove a car or truck over one of the camp’s ducks.  The poor thing was surely killed instantly, but it bothered me that no one took the time to stop and see if it was injured, alive, etc. By the time I got there it was still warm and I realized that only minutes ago it was alive.  I grieved the duck. I had fed her by hand for two years.

The other ducks (we now have twelve) had congregated a few feet  away from her but would not get too close.  A duck has no defense except to fly or run away—-my ducks never learned to fly!  So what does why does this matter to me? Because death has always been a thing that both disturbs me and seems bring a ripple into my understanding of reality. These things happen, I know,  but something within me tells me that they should not be happening.

A duck has got to be one of God’s most entertaining creations. No creature is so comical and endearing. When my ducks see my Jeep coming towards the lake the rush to me squawking and fussing with me for being late!  They waddle to my feet and wait for me to feed them the bread or feed I bring them each day. They eat right out of my hand with no thought of me bringing harm to them. They trust me. They know the noise of my Jeep and my voice; they have learned that they can trust my hand and have become accustomed to me caring for them all year long.  How could anyone raise these little creatures and not both love them and laugh at them?

When I grieve for a lost creature like one of our ducks, I think that maybe I am getting closer to the heart of God in regard to understanding His love for His creatures—-both great and small; inspiring and comical.  As I reflect upon the godliest men and women I have ever known or heard of, I am reminded that they too loved animals and had a grateful heart for all of God’s creation. As I get older I sense that I can see God clearer and more distinctly in the things He has created and established  and I am appreciative of His “natural revealing” of Himself in His created order.

One day our pets won’t suffer and die; children won’t be abandoned or forgotten; there will be no death or pain or tears.  When  I see a pet die, as I did yesterday, I know that this is not what God intended—-one day death will be over and forgotten and things will be right.  Until then my heart will continue to break when I lose my furry or feathered friends.

Warmly,

Dean Barley


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