28 March 2011

Captain Nemo's Final Lesson

I have been thinking today about the value of pets. My sister's dog, Captain Nemo, is making his final trip to their country property. My sister is the sort of woman who loves animals like I do. I hate that she and her family have to say goodbye to someone hey have loved and cared for so well. I hate that I won't get to see the big bruiser come greet me as only he could. He loved his auntie as much as I loved him. I have been dreading this day as much as I dread the passing of my own furry heroes. Today it dawned on me as I thought about the way animals suffer because of our sin and how grossly unfair that is...that it is only a glimpse of the way Christ suffered to save those whom the Father has given him.

It doesn't change the way I am grieving for my sister's loss, or the loss of my four-legged nephew. It hurts and it makes me feel guilty mingled with a good dose of puny. He's 14 1/2 and a pit bull/lab cross. I have seen Nemo uproot a tree and carry it with pride to his mom for a chance to play fetch the stick, leveling anyone who didn't get out of his way. No malice, just brute strength and joy trailing 10 feet of tree limb beside him. It was our sin, not his that caused his body to betray him. Until a couple days ago his spirit was willing but now his too weak body has taken even that from him. It's just not right.

I'm not trying to play the fairness card. That's a fool's bet. I just didn't realize until today why it is that we animal lovers have to have our hearts break. Why our sin causes our pets demise. Christ,obedient to the point of dying on the cross, took our death sentence so we wouldn't have to, and how unfair to Him was that? Sinless perfection racked by our sin and guilt. Suffering because of us. Suffering because of me. Nemo gave me just a tiny glimpse of what my Savior went through on account of my sins. Captain Nemo was like that, a model of unconditional love used by God to teach me about the grace and mercy of the cross.

Isaiah 53:3-5
3 He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and like one from whom men hide their face, He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
4 Surely our griefs He himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being {fell} upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.

Hebrews 10:10
10 By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Hebrews 10:14
14 For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.

1 Peter 3:18
18 For Christ also died for sins once for all, {the} just for {the} unjust, in order that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;

(NAS)

1 comment:

Vicki said...

I am right there with you rozie-about the animal friends we have. I always feel gut wrenching grief at the loss of every one of my dogs, no matter how old or young they are. I love this passage from Romans-what hope for the lovers of the animal kingdom is found here!

Rom 8:20-21
For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
ESV