“Some people talk to animals. Not many listen though. That's the problem.”
We love all creatures because God loves them. We love them because they teach us so many things. How to love, how to listen quietly. They help us remember to be playful and to be affectionate. They teach us to see things like they do, with curiosity and enthusiasm.
C.S.Lewis, the great theologian and author of the Narnia books believed that all animals would be found in Heaven and both John Wesley and John Calvin wrote about the restoring of all creation In the Heaven of the future.
In the book of Job it says that the life of every creature is in the hand of God, a hand of eternal love and care. So for God, every creature that breathes is worthy of his care and goodness.
Every year on the first Sunday of July at 10.30am we hold a service of animal welfare and blessing, bringing our pets to give thanks for the relationship we have with them and thinking about human cruelty and lack of care. Timid pets should be kept at home and a photograph brought along to share instead.
'A Robin Redbreast in a cage
Puts all Heaven in a rage
A dove house filled with doves and pigeons
Shudders Hell through all its regions.
A dog starved at his Master's gate
Predicts the ruin of the state.
A Horse Misused upon the road
Calls to Heaven for Human Blood.
Each outcry of the hunted hare
A fibre from the brain does tear.
A skylark wounded in the wing,
A Cherubim does cease to sing.
A Game Cock clipped and armed for fight
Does the Rising Sun affright..
He who shall hurt the little Wren
Shall never be beloved by men.
He who the Ox to wrath has moved
Shall never be by woman loved.
The wanton boy that kills the fly
Shall feel the spider's enmity…
The Bleat, the Bark, Bellow and Roar
Are waves that Beat on Heaven's shore.'
– William Blake