I saw a photograph of a baby platypus on social media. Of course, as most babies are, it was adorable. I then remembered that adult male platypuses have venom in the spurs of their hind legs. Well, perhaps another pet. I have a special love of sloths. I have photos, pillows, sheets, towels, blankets, jewelry, and, yes, many stuffed ones. If it is a sloth, I love it. Sloths are slow, solitary creatures. As much as I love them, apparently I can’t bring one home. I am thankful, though, to share this earth with them. So we have a couple of guinea pigs, revenants from another time with my youngest son and two pups.
All of these beings brings me great joy! A morning walk sets my day. Watching a movie with a pup in my lap is the best. A trip to see animals that I do not normally encounter, elephants, giraffes, naked mole rats is a joy. Basically, we share this earth with some beautiful and interesting creatures. They make our lives fuller and richer.
Saint Francis was a man who left the comforts of home to pursue God. His journey brought him into encounters with animals. A google search will reveal stories with foxes and birds and any assortment of beings. In the season of creation, we celebrate the feast day of Francis.
On October 4th, we will celebrate the Blessing of the Animals service with our families at 11:00 a.m. We will gather on the lawn of the church, weather permitting (or sanctuary, if necessary) with our beloved companions to celebrate life with all of God’s creatures. All creatures are welcome: leads, crates or other ways of containing their energy is best. If you prefer, a photo or collar will also work. There will also be a time to remember and celebrate those companions who have crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Please bring your own lawn chair.
During these days celebrating creation, take a walk, listen for the birds, watch National Geographic on television, read TS Eliot’s Cats, pet your pup. In this season of creation and on the feast of Saint Francis, pause and give thanks for the creatures whom God created to share this earth.
The Rev. Sarah Nelson