I just came in from holding puppies at the pet shop. It’s a sure-fire elixir for my heart when world-weariness demands a quick pick-me-up. And just between you and me, when there’s no pet store handy I sometimes fall into looking at puppies online or watching reruns of “The Dog Whisperer” on Netflicks. Old friends marvel at this change that’s come over me after years of a skinny-hearted religion that had no serious room for animals.
Who doesn’t delight in the stories of Saint Francis preaching to birds, or leading the village’s terrorizing wolf into repentance? As certainly as the human heart longs for beauty and redemption, it dreams of a garden where man and beast live together in loving trust and harmony. Eons before National Geographic turned it into a TV series the Dog Whisperer was scripted into our hearts by a loving Father. “So the Lord God formed from the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would call them and the man chose a name for each one.” (Genesis 2:19). Our good Father gave pets to Adam and invited his Son to name them. “Fill the earth and govern it”. (That’s kingdom language.) “Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.” (Genesis 1:28). We were created to love the animal world, to train our furry friends, and to bring them into their full potential.
Before Cesar Millan, (the “Dog Whisperer”), was Saint Francis; Before Francis was Adam; And before Adam was Yahweh dreaming of a Kingdom, and writing His dream in our hearts. Those little fellows at the rescue shelter? They’re anticipating the Kingdom, too!