Paws and Passages

Today is a bit of a sad day in our household as we said goodbye to Nicky, a beloved member of our family for over 22 years. Nicky moved to Virginia with us in 1998 when he was not much more than a kitten. This long-haired Polydactyl outlived five other members of our fur family — two of his companions that moved here with us, and three that were adopted over the past 20 years. Amazing!

Pets are such an important part of our lives, aren’t they? They truly become members of the family providing companionship and comfort, and a lot of special memories. This blog could be filled with harrowing stories of Nicky using up his “nine lives” with his crazy antics over the years. Oh, the tales he could tell!

But beyond companionship and comfort, there are so many stories about how rescued and adopted animals actually saved their owners from lives of loneliness, isolation and despair. And there is nothing quite like the bond created when a service animal enters a home. They bring peace and healing to lives that were previously broken or damaged by violence, illness or crisis. These highly-trained animals open the door to normal living again.

Heaven-Sent Love

With all the millions of animals in this world seeking homes, somehow we always find our perfect match. Although the Bible never mentions pets, the Lord must know how much we love them. He also knows how much it hurts when they leave us.

So, on behalf of all the grateful pet owners reading this, let’s take this opportunity to thank God for Nicky, and all the pets who have wandered into our lives and captured our hearts. Thank you, Lord, for every purr and meow, bark and tail wag. Our lives have been blessed and enriched by our fur families’ unconditional love and steadfast presence.

In almost 37 years of marriage, we have always had at least one cat in our home. We are going to have some pet-free time now. (I wonder how long that will last?) Meanwhile we are going to enjoy our daughter’s two “grand-bunnies” that reside in our basement. Max and Charlie will be getting an extra dose of cuddles today. 💕

Examining the Heart

Our broken country is gearing up for yet another pivotal election. Everyone wants their party to win, and sadly, some care little about the cost. As Tuesday draws closer, the rhetoric is ratcheting up and the hate is growing louder and becoming more violent.

I wish I believed that this frightening trend will end after the election, but the past two years have shown us that it will not. Let’s all be honest. If we are to take a stand against hatred, it needs to begin with a deep and honest examination of our own hearts.

“We love because he first loved us. Those who say, “I love God,” and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.”
‭‭1 John‬ ‭4:19-21‬

As Wednesday morning dawns, make the choice to love your neighbor, regardless of how they voted, or the political sign in their front yard. You don’t need to agree with them, but if we are truly seeking to follow Jesus’ example we must love unconditionally.

Friends, please join me in prayer this week — for unity, for peace, and for healing in our nation.