O LORD, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. Psalm 104:24, NRSV
Last night I got a phone call from a friend in the regional Bernese Mountain Dog Club (or Bearnaise Sauce Dogs, as St. Casserole dubbed them), to check in about planning a picnic for this summer. Yes, I do belong, believe it or not, to a breed club. Two, actually: one regional, one national. It happened because Molly had many orthopedic problems as a puppy, and when I went to the Internet looking for information, I found the clubs.
I had always been a cat person. It came as a great surprise that I could love a dog, and now two dogs, with the abandon and occasional anxiety previously reserved for my children. I expected larger cats. (Yes, I hear you dog people chortling at my foolishness.)
Dogs and cats, and any animal we can love, really love, prove God for me. Oh, there are other things, too. Sunsets, harvest moons, lilacs, daffodils, mountains, the ocean, things so beautiful they couldn't possibly be merely random. And then there are human relationships, with their aggravations and their deep satisfactions, and physical pleasures. Love, and really good sex, and a piece of gooey pepperoni pizza–all these things transcend ordinary reality and make me want to shout, or purr, or wroo-wroo my praises.
Animals, with their determined focus on their own pleasure or their desire to be faithful to us, with their enthusiasm for chasing each other or rolling in something that smells delicious, for curling up next to us when we feel low, for simply being present to us–they are made in God's wisdom.
Yes, even Baby, the cat who brings wildlife indoors, brings some of that wisdom to the fore. She loves me as much as a cat can love a person. She suffers when I turn her out of the room, hoping to sleep. She spends her days contentedly on my bed, rubbing up against anything of mine I don't think to put on a hanger.
If only I spent my days as attentive to God, even when God seems absent…
I will sing to the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
May my meditation be pleasing to God, for I rejoice in the LORD.