…Having been a servant to my Master for over 8 years now you can say I have become very well acquainted with a departing soul and the emotions and feelings that surround it. The way it affects the family, friends, and those who knew and loved them….and so I wish to point out something some seem to somehow overlook….
I have come to find that each and every loss of a companion…from the largest to the smallest, invokes the EXACT same feelings and emotions in a person as the loss of a human.
I myself feel each and every loss within my Parish as if I have lost a dear brother or sister of my very own. Though the companion or person is not part of my blood family, I have come to love them as I love my very kith and kin.
I feel the tears, the emptiness, the sadness, the despair, and the heartache of the loss…yes…I mourn the loss of a person or companion with equal tears and heartbreak…for it is a loving and caring soul that has left us for my Master’s Heavenly Mansions.
Now to many this may seem odd, and to some it may seem old hat, but to ME as a cleric it shines light onto something some either deny or would avoid…and that is that to the owner of a companion it’s SOUL is unquestionably real.
Throughout the Bible we hear of how much God loves us, how we are supposed to love one another, and how we are to be good ‘stewards’ of all He has given us…and when we lose one of these precious souls our lives forever change.
Some may dispute my reasoning, and although I have covered the subject MANY times in the past here in my sermons, I want to share my own clerical viewpoints on this subject.
Now, MANY say “Animals don’t have souls” and there have been disputes enough on that subject, but what I want to talk about is GOD’S LOVE for these same animals…err.. I think I should clarify that a little…on COMPANIONS.
See, there really is NO difference between man and the animals…as Ecclesiastes 3:18-21 points out…
“I also said to myself, “As for humans, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals.
Surely the fate of human beings is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other.
All have the same breath; humans have no advantage over animals.
Everything is meaningless.
All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return.
Who knows if the human spirit rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?”
It is in that thin line between ‘us’ and ‘them’ that I wish to speak of…is there any other being on this planet capable of giving such LOVE…such DEVOTION…such GRATITUDE for a life? I have failed to see ANY equal in that regard from ANY other being on this planet more DEDICATED to the principles God decreed MAN should follow.
If those blind fools who sit smugly in a pew and think that just because they have parked their carcass in a seat in ‘God’s House’ means they are somehow EXEMPT from following His laws regarding “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31) and “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.” (John 13:34) …and the BIG one in Matthew 7:1 ““Do not judge so that you will not be judged. “For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.…” (not to mention the cross point ALSO made in Luke 6:37 of “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” ….but I digress)…they are SADLY mistaken….
Can any one of those same smug pew pounding Bible thumping types show MORE love than a companion?
I doubt it.
Are THEY following God’s decree to love Him and love each other? Nope.
And I will explain why…
A Companion’s love is UNCONDITIONAL…case and point: A dog (or cat, or rabbit, etc) who had a rough young life, perhaps with an abusive owner, can STILL learn to love and trust and become the constant and fulfilling companion to someone if they are adopted by another.
Patience, time, love, and trust are the rules of the day in that regard.
But can we say as much for the HUMAN animal? We hold grudges, exclude others based on creed, or religion…we hurt each other for no apparent reason THAN to hurt each other.
A companion only hurts in defense or in fear, and takes no delight in the hurting…not so man….
How BETTER to see the ‘Master Plan’ of God than to look into the eyes of a companion? WHO BETTER can teach us my Master’s DECREE of loving one another?
Does it not serve as much to say that THEY are CLOSER to God than WE are?
Do WE love unconditionally? No. For even two people who love each other with an intense and burning love, who love GOD as much as they love each other, STILL have restrictions on that love…oh…come now…let’s be honest with each other and ourselves. I can see the heads shaking ‘no’ even from behind my screen.
I am a cleric…capable of GREAT love, for I love my wife with every fiber of my being, and I love my Master with my whole heart and soul….and yet I can say I TOO FALL SHORT of that love. So, quit shaking your head and pay attention.
Answer me this: WHO BETTER to see as a role model for PURE love…UNRESTRICTED love…or COMPLETE FAITH than that of a companion? Does not a dog trust it’s owner WITHOUT reservation? When the ball is thrown does not the dog race after it KNOWING and TRUSTING that the owner would not throw it into harms way (like a busy road or off of a cliff) ?
Does not a cat know when a person is sad, or sick, and comes to comfort their owner to the fullest regard? Will it not lay there and watch over it’s owner and LOVE the owner until they are well again?
The Bible tells us in simple terms what I am trying to say….
“But ask the animals, and they will teach you,or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you;or speak to the earth, and it will teach you,or let the fish in the sea inform you.
Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this?
In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.
Does not the ear test words as the tongue tastes food?
Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding?” -Job 12:7-12
Who here does NOT understand this? Need MORE proof than this?
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” – John 15:13
Who here has NOT heard of a dog…a being who cannot operate a firearm, or a blade… jumping in front of harms way (a burglar, or mugger, or trespasser intent on harming the owner) to save their life only to have THEIR lives taken from them?
Who here would do the same for a complete stranger?
Are you sure…?
Would YOU lay down your life to protect your DOG? Or your CAT?
Then you must not have the PURE love, the UNCONDITIONAL love that a companion has…and therefore not the “greater love” spoken of in that scripture.
So when a companion departs, and I see people sneer at me for weeping or being saddened by the loss, I simply shake my head and see that THEY lack the pure and unconditional love GOD EXPECTS US TO HAVE FOR EACH OTHER AND HIMSELF.
If you cannot show love to a dog or cat,or to each other, how can you say you love God?
“Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar.
For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.
And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.” – 1 John 4:20-21
Take a lesson from The Bible..and from a pet or companion… watch and observe them, and SEE the grand design God intended for us…that we should love EACH OTHER (yes, fur, feathers, scales, or skin) the SAME WAY HE LOVES US…He gave us His SON.
Was not His sacrifice the “Greater love” spoken of.
What have WE given HIM in return?
Follow His law…LOVE ONE ANOTHER…and in doing so:
“and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” – Romans 13:9b-10