Whatever – Man or Animal - 19 March 2018

Wanda Bam

 “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”  Genesis 1:28

Recently in the media, I read the heartbreaking stories of a man and a dog, both loved and cherished in the lives of those around them. Tragically, both died violently at the hands of others - criminals, haters of life - leaving behind a myriad of questions that cannot be answered. One newspaper reported that a retired Professor, a respected academic, was attacked and fatally wounded in his own home. Another article related the story of Marco, a 3-year old Australian Cattle Dog, who went missing. A reward of R25 000 and later R50 000 was offered. Sadly, Marco was found dead three days later, a cable wrapped tightly around his neck.

Explosive emotions erupted on social media and ranged from deep anger and resentment to words of empathy and comfort. Many of the comments described what would happen to the perpetrators should they be caught and how they would be dealt with. But none of these comments testified to life and lovers of the gift that has been granted to us. It eventually became a boiling pot of anger and creative cruelty.

Suddenly someone made a comment that caused many to stop and listen: “This is not what God would have expected of us.” The comment led many to consider what was said and, moreover, to introspection. It was true; God was nowhere to be found in the anger.  Overwhelmed and drained, the topic was changed.

It may not seem appropriate to compare the two incidents, but the point here is the issue of life and the respect for life. It is about a connection with the Giver of Life. On the one hand, He gave life to the animal but on the other, also to a human being, who had the potential to lovingly reign over creation. May this teach us that we should speak the language of life, that we should celebrate the beauty of life and that we should stand up for life. Let us do this with an inward focus and receive from God the perspective and answers when death comes knocking at our doors.

Prayer: Lord, my mouth constantly speaks the language of death when I see how people suffer, how the elderly are abused and forgotten, how the innocent die and animals are mistreated and abused. Teach me Lord to, in spite of this, still speak the language of life.  Amen

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