Friday, October 11, 2013

Creation, strays and the least of these.

This is Mama. She's one of the many strays that I've gotten to befriend and fall in love with.
Every morning when she sees my house mates and I, she comes running to us with her tail wagging
 and her ears perked up ready to be petted and fed.

My conviction is that animals are just as much apart of this wonderful creation as anything or anyone else. They have the capacity to love, to experience joy, to mourn, the be angry, to feel pain and to intentionally comfort. When I imagine God's new heaven and new earth, I believe that the lilies and the sparrows will be apart of that new creation, as God cares for them and declared them as good in the Beginning. 

There are many strays in our neighborhood and it's one of the saddest things that I've had to witness so far while living in Houston. Every day while walking to and from work, I see homeless animals. All sorts of dogs with mange, fleas, shrunken stomachs, bones peaking through the skin. It's a painful sight. While my heart deeply aches for the abandoned pets roaming my neighborhood, it also serves as a terrible, but great picture of the types of injustice that happens in many of our hearts. The voiceless, the helpless, the least, remaining hungry, lonely, unloved, unwanted, abused, scared and under appreciated. Pushed aside and ignored for fear of having to take action. Guarding our hearts from compassion because we often feed into the lie that there's nothing that we can do about it. That that drunk man, that prostitute, that "troubled youth", that stray dog isn't worth our care, our time, our money. It isn't worth investing in because they are less than, they are not valuable, and their suffering exists because of their poor decisions. These are lies. Do not believe them. 
"The least of these" have many things to teach us. In their presence we are humbled. In their sufferings we are silenced. In joining them, we find solidarity and unity. In their friendship we find sincerity and blessing. In their eyes, if we look close enough, we see Christ looking back at us. Do not be afraid to befriend, do not be afraid to invest, to touch, to pet. 

"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels 
with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations 
will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from 
another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he 
will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then 
the king will say to those at his right hand, 'Come, you that are 
blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from 
the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me 
food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a 
stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me 
clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and 
you visited me.' Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when 
was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and 
gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a 
stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And 
when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?' And 
the king will answer them, 'Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one 
of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to 

If you would like to join me in feeding the strays in our neighborhood, please send nutritious dog treats to my Houston address! That would be greatly appreciated! 
If you'd also like ot donate financially to my Mission Year that would be especially helpful and appreciated! 

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