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In celebration of my son's birthday week, and our joint project of raising money for the ASPCA, I will post articles about animals and different ministries that are helpful to them.
Today I want to introduce Rev. Cheryl Broome who is an ordained pastor serving as an Animal Chaplain in Austin, Texas. She serves in many other areas as well. I am honored that Cheryl has agreed to write this guest post for us today concerning the important place that animals hold in our families. Happy reading!
Animal friends are God's love in expression. From the tiniest atom of life to the largest known animal on earth, every living creature has a place in the world. Some animals help keep nature in balance, some provide sustenance for others, some help us learn more about ourselves, and others become treasured companions. When we take care of animals, we bless God and we bless the earth. I am a pet lover! When I was a little girl, I had a small white mouse. I shared this little mouse with a friend and we took turns caring for the daily needs of our little friend. It was awesome that we were able to shared the love, custody and care for our little mouse. Today I am very blessed to take care of some pets that live with my family. We have a dog-named Goldie who is sixteen years old. Goldie found us during a great storm in San Antonio, Texas and she was lost and wandering in the church parking lot. She is a golden retriever. Our newest dog is Skipper and he is a two-year-old dachshund. Skipper was adopted from the animal shelter in San Angelo, Texas. We also take care of other little animals in our yard like the squirrels and the birds, by making sure that there is plenty of water and food available.
What animal do you take care of and love? There are people who care and love birds, horses, snakes, lizards, dogs, cats, squirrels, the list can go on and on. Many people who love animals recognize the deep spiritual connection between God and all of God’s creation. The Bible teaches that our Creator gave us dominion over the earth and all its resources including every living thing. This is a serious undertaking and takes deep commitment and courage.
A long, long time ago there was a very interesting person who loved animals. He was called St. Francis of Assisi. You can find many stories about the life and ministry of St. Francis and how he loved and care for all animals. Some people think he had the ability to talk with animals; that he preached to the birds and once even tamed a wild wolf. He also wrote this wonderful Prayer of St. Francis:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand ;to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life
Wouldn’t it be great if we would all take care of the earth and every living creature? We can by doing simple things every day. It all starts with love. When we love God’s creation, we show our love and care for every creature on earth.
Austin Animal Chaplain began because of a great need for and desire to care for the spiritual needs of animals and their people through encouragement, education and support; especially during very trying and difficult times. If you have any further questions, please contact Reverend Cheryl A. Broome AustinAnimalChaplains@gmail.com or call 512.569.5701. http://www.wix.com/austinanimalchaplain/austinanimalchaplain?ref=nf