I am so often disappointed when I look around the world and see the way we treat God’s creation. When God left us in charge of things, I don’t think God intended for us to abuse his creation. I think God intended for us to love and to care for his creation as God loves and cares for us, which we are most certainly not doing. I have several friends who are in the rescue business, either canines or equines, and their Facebook pages are continuously filled with sad stories of abuse and neglect. Don’t get me wrong. I understand what it means to fall on hard times and have to re-home your pets, but the volume of animal abuse and neglect in our so-called Christian society is in no way consistent with Christian teachings.
I witnessed a disturbing incident on the way to work the other day. I was driving my usual 5 miles over the speed limit when–as always happens–60 miles per hour just wasn’t fast enough for some hotshot in his supped up, lifted Chevy truck. Just as he came barreling around me and the person behind me, a squirrel darted into the road. I can’t be sure, but I would swear that the driver intentionally hit the squirrel, who realized his error in judgment and tried to retreat. The poor squirrel rolled under the big truck tires and was thrown into the other lane. He clearly did not die on impact. It was heartbreaking. I have no great love for squirrels or any other of God’s rodents, but I could never imagine being so callous as to not care that I took a life–any life.
Just before heading to church on Sunday, I was flipping through my Twitter feed and found a tweet from Chip Gaines, sharing a Change.org petition to bring a pair of animal abusers to justice. They had beaten an 11 week old puppy with a hammer and then microwaved him to death while filming it on a cell phone. As I read Chip’s tweet, tears ran down my face. I cried all the way to church.
As Lent began this week, I find myself crying out to God to soften our hearts, so that we can no longer tolerate these acts of destruction. I ask that he open our eyes to see that we cannot call ourselves followers of Christ and tolerate this kind of hardness and violence from ourselves. I ask that he give us the strength to open ourselves to the pain and suffering of his creation and to great joy and peace of his love, so we can find a way to heal this horribly broken world.
What are you praying for this Lent?