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Kathy's Faith Walk

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Kathy's Faith Walk

The Creator or the Creation?

“It hurts.”


I remember saying this to the dentist when I got my first filling at 8 years old. I said it when I fell off the horse, got stomped on by a cow, and when my longtime boyfriend decided someone else was more to his liking. I also said it and when my Grandparents died and the day my horse, Sam, who I had for 22 years passed away. It turns out that after 15 years I still mourn that loss. No one was more shocked than me to discover this lingering attachment to an animal.


Sam was an Arabian-Quarter Horse cross. He was three years old when Dad brought him home and I never had to break him. He loved to be ridden and we communicated without the need for whips or spurs. He just always did what I asked. Sam’s back feet were crooked and it was always a challenge to keep weight on him because he loved to run. He and I would go to every horse gaming event that we could get to. We always won something and he loved to play the games. And we played for many years until I moved out, got married, and had children. Sam lived long enough for even my kids and some of their cousins to get to ride him. When the little kids rode him they were frustrated because they couldn’t make him run. He wouldn’t run with them. What a horse.


Was Sam my friend? Good question. We spent hours together exploring the trail-less expanse of hundreds of acres surrounding our farm. He was always glad to see me and I spoke to him as if he were a person.

But, he wasn’t a person was he?


If animals aren’t human, but we can still communicate with them on many levels and even experience deep attachment to them, and they to us, then what are they? I have been told in church many times that animals have no eternal soul. That may be true in the sense that animals have no need of the forgiveness Christ offers to us through His death on the cross. Still, animals have life. In fact, the same life that was breathed into man in the beginning was also breathed into animals. The word for “soul” is the same. So while it may not be an eternal soul, animals do, in fact, have a soul according to Genesis 1:30. I like that.


I believe this unique relationship is a two-way street. God clearly instructed man to have dominion (authority) over the animals of the earth but He also demands that we care for those in our charge. And God even referenced the fact that when Jesus died on the cross it removed the need for anymore animal sacrifices, something God was saddened by. (Psalms 40:6-1)


If animals are important to God, then they should be important to me. If he made them for me, and they bring me joy, I can be sure that this joy is authored by God. The loss of these animals, over which I have authority and care, teaches me something about the nature of God: sorrow at the loss of a beloved animal is both normal and expected as part of the caring process designed by God.


Are you sorrowing over the loss of a beloved animal? It hurts. God knows your loss and invites you to talk to Him about it, complete with deep sobs and tears. He will restore your heart and heal your wound if you will let Him.

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Author info

Kathy Osborne Kathy Osborne is the editor of the Co Op Country Store's newspaper, the Co Op Round-Up. In her spare time she checks in on her three grown children, or listens to her husband play music.

Tagged as:

religion, faith, pets, death

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