25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”
Matthew 6:25-26 (ESV)
This is a pretty popular passage of scripture and one that I take to with joy. I love that Christ tells us not to worry about our lives because he takes of every thing. I’ve heard this passage many times in sermons about having faith in our God when we find ourselves in the midst of trouble. But- I noticed something today that I never thought about before.
Some background: I remember being taught so many times while growing up that we should be careful what we pray for and that we should not pray for extravagant blessings or for so-called trivial things. Since coming to Sandals, I’ve realized that while I have complete faith that God can handle anything I throw at Him, he also cares about the things I care about. I’ve always had a soft spot for any living thing that is defenseless. This means that even underdogs in movies and books get my wholehearted love and protection. If you make fun of a disabled person in front of me, be ready to reap what you have sewn! I will have something to say about it! It also means that stray animals (or even people) are in serious danger becoming a household favorite if I spot them. No matter how much pain it brings me, I will do whatever I can to make sure that if you cannot defend yourself or find a friend, you are not alone. When I was young, I remember my pastor actually saying that praying for animals is wrong because God has bigger concerns. But I care about animals. (In another life, I would have been an outstanding veterinarian.)
Back to present day: Do you notice anything in that scripture? “Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.” He takes care of animals. He would care for them even if I didn’t. When he spoke these words, my ancestors were huddled over fires in Northern Europe of going on viking raids or hunting buffalo in the now American Southwest. I was not only not around yet, but some of the cultures that contributed to my creation, had not had interaction yet. Jesus cared for birds. Saint Francis of Assisi is famous for his love of fauna.
When I awoke this morning to scuffling sounds in my room, my first reaction was to yell, “Luna! Stop fighting!” That usually does the trick, and she stops attacking the other cats. The sound didn’t stop. I sat up as my mom came running into the room. In my half dazed state my response to my mom was, “no he’s not” when she said he was having a seizure. We had a dog with epilepsy some years back, so it was certainly not my first round with a seizure. He had four seizures in about 40 minutes, each lasting about 7 minutes. By the time the second was over he was blind. By the time the fourth was over, he couldn’t walk or stand. I’m always afraid of asking for prayer when my animals are involved because I hear my former pastor saying, “Don’t ask us to pray for that. That’s not our concern.” But it’s my concern. My God loves me and He cares for me. That means He cares for the things I care about. My God feeds the birds of the air. I can ask my friends to pray because that’s what prayer is for. Wouldn’t you talk to your earthly father about things that were concerning you? So why can’t I ask my Heavenly Father? He has a greater power to change the situation at hand that any human. I sent out texts during the fourth one because at that point, I frankly didn’t care if my friends thought I was ridiculous, I needed help from my God. I received several immediate responses and the whole morning changed instantly. No joke, instantly. Lewis’ behavior was closer to normal. He could see movement, though not images. He wasn’t as scared and would even let the family close enough to pet him. (Dogs become extremely suspicious of everyone during and after seizures. They don’t understand what’s happening or what’s causing it.) The seizures stopped. Our vet called us personally and said, “I’m opening early for you guys. Get in here.” Lewis ate and drank and was able to walk, albeit shakily, to his food and water. I have never doubted God’s ability, but today I was incredibly reassured that he cares about the things I care about.
So much thanks and love to Mama Lauralee who texted me an awesome prayer, to Natali, Michelle, Bethany (who responded via facebook), Sean, Kelli, and Kyle. You peeps are all amazing! Thank God for all of you!