Sunday, April 14, 2013

The First Pets

"all livestock...
the birds of the heavens...
every beast of the field"
Genesis 2:20

My Awesome Girl had another volleyball tournament this weekend.  We were up and out of the house, just as it was getting light, and we weren't home again until mid-afternoon.  And when we arrived home, and the Apple of my Eye opened the door to the house, who was waiting there at the door, but our meowing kitty cat.

It's not uncommon for our cat to greet us at the door.  Granted, sometimes we're not important enough for her to disturb her seventeenth nap of the day.  But other times, there she is, meowing as we work the key in the doorknob.  I always wonder if she's been sitting at the door for awhile, or if she just came when she heard the garage door open.

I'm sure the dog would greet us at the door if she could, but she's either in the backyard, or in her crate.  Little minx can't be trusted in the house alone...

So I picked the kitty up and cuddled her a little.  And the cat wandered in circles until she chose the perfect position on my lap, and then settled down, purring.  She hadn't been waiting for us because she needed food or water, but because she missed her people.

This was several years ago.  One big happy family, aren't we?

I don't know that there's ever been a time when I didn't own a pet.  Dogs or cats, mostly, with one hamster and one guinea pig for variety.  Oh, and a turtle for awhile.  

But all of my pets have been social.  They have loved us ~ in their own way ~ as much as we loved them.  Even the guinea pig would come to the near side of the cage when we came into the room, and squeeeeee her "hello" to us. 

I was reading Genesis recently, and got to thinking about Adam and Eve, and all the animals God had put on the earth with them.  God had given man dominion over the animals, but what did that mean?  Adam had named every creature (Genesis 2:19) but I wonder, did he think of those names as being labels, as to species?  Or names, as to personalize and individualize them?  Did he have a heart connection with any of those animals? 

No animal was predator or prey during that time.  Every creature was an herbivore, so I imagine that the beasts all wandered freely, interacting with one another and with Adam and Eve.   Did any of them greet him first thing in the morning, purring or roaring or oinking or quacking for attention?

And then I wonder, how did Adam and Eve feel when an animal was sacrificed to clothe them?  They were already in pain over their failure to obey.  They were already ashamed by their nakedness.  Was the death of one of "their" animals yet another painful consequence of their actions?

I think so.

This first sacrifice in Scripture was a foreshadowing of Jesus' sacrifice, the consequence of our sins.  And I can't help but think that God was pained by the knowledge of what He knew was coming, and that His children could sense His pain. 

No sacrifice comes without pain.  And if Adam and Even felt the pain of their sin in how it affected the creation around them, I think that was only fitting.   We should all be so conscious of our actions.

~ "I will not offer to the Lord my God
a sacrifice that cost me nothing" ~
2 Samuel 24:24

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