Animals, Disaster, Reflectionary

Stray Thoughts on a Sunday Night

I’m not obsessed with dogs, but…okay, I am. I also love my cats. The story that finally caused me to break down and cry the other night was about a little boy getting on the bus for Houston and having his little dog torn out of his arms. “Snowball, Snowball!” The little boy cried until he made himself sick.

Tonight I read that animals have been declared family members. Evacuees will be able to take their pets with them, allowing animal rescue folks the chance to try and collect the animals left behind around the Superdome. I can’t find confirmation of this on the Web; it came via e-mail to a dog list I read.

If I were in the South, I would want to open a shelter for people with pets. As it is, I am far, far away. All I can do is send money, and encourage my church members to do the same.

Oh, and preach about it all. In the sidebar there is a link titled “Sermonic Convergence,” and it will take you to the blog I have for Small Church. The text I wrote for this morning is posted there; if you’ve been reading my blog this past week, the ideas won’t be anything new, but it might be interesting for one or fewer of my readers to see where I ended up. I’m editing the same material for my next newspaper essay, to be published this coming Saturday.

In the end, I didn’t preach from the text, but talked about the themes in approximately the same order in which I treated them in the written sermon. There were numerous elaborations. There were also many tears. #2 Son hugged me on purpose after church, so it must have worked. This was a new experience for me, really dropping the text. It just seemed like the wrong day to be having a love affair with my written words.

The Maine Conference of the United Church of Christ has asked each church to try and raise the equivalent of $10 per member, which amounts to about $1000 for Small Church. I’m encouraging our folk to work toward that but also to give to the effort being coordinated by Quotidian Grace

Pure Luck and I have several things in mind. He’s going to give to the American Red Cross and also to QG’s drive. I’m going to give a small amount to Red Cross as part of an effort by a Bernese Mountain Dog group, as well as giving to the UCC and to QG. It’s all flowing in the same direction, and all those choices feel good.

I’m happy to have an update from St. Casserole. I wish I could give her a big hug. Just last Sunday we were eating a Solidarity Chocolate Cake, thinking it would all blow over. Now her husband’s office is gone, and her family is in two locations, but they are all alive and well and making the best decisions they can.

Finally, as I said at church this morning while preaching, embracing #2 Son in a way that was probably awful for him, but which he kindly tolerated, “If this one, or any of the others dear to me, were near death for a lack of water, I would take water wherever I could find it and not look back.” I know I would. I would do it for husband, children, pets. Yes, I would want to make reparations later, but omigosh, I would not hesitate to do whatever I needed to do to keep them safe.

And really finally, I may have said this in the comments at someone else’s blog, but I want to be sure and say it here. The people who, in the name of religion, celebrate this hurricane as God’s way of making a clean sweep of “sinful” places, people and practices are reading a different gospel than the one I claim. I’m angry that many people will think all Christians are like that. I disavow them. Claiming that abortion and gay rights are the two big things that make God mad, while ignoring the death and trauma suffered by so many this week, is about as far away from a so-called “culture of life” as anything could be.

If anybody wants to know who said so, tell ’em to turn to Matthew 25: 31-46.