Saturday, 24 December 2016

For the pets in Heaven

I once lost two beloved pets on the same day just before Christmas. My pet cockatiel  Lenny was found on the floor of his cage one December morning. We knew that our elderly terrier dog Pete, who spent much time at the cage watching Lenny sing to him, had little earthly time left. We attended a carols service that evening at church and came home to find Pete's body at the front gate where he had been waiting for us. I like to think that Lenny returned and told him "come on Pete, it's time to go." Christmas Eve is traditionally a special day to celebrate the love of animals, so here is a little poem to remember all the beloved pets that have been part of our lives. Theologians may argue regarding the presence of particular pets in Heaven, but anyone who has loved and been loved by an animal knows they go there.

For the Pets in Heaven
Adam, the first man
Was placed in a garden
Animals all around him
He wandered God’s wonderful creation
With marvellous beasts to surround him

Jesus came from God to Earth
Born in a stable bare
The Baby heard the cattle low
The donkeys stirred
And little lambs visited there.

They share our lives, loyal and true
Pets of every kind
And creatures wild that bring delight
Their gentle beauty shyly shared
An unexpected sight

So Jesus, for those ones in Heaven
Please hear my prayer,
All the poor, mistreated ones, hunted ones
And all those dearly loved and missed
Because we can’t be there

Send your group of special angels
Those with gentle laps and hearts
Loving hands and kindly words
Hold them in your tender care
As long as we’re apart

Whistle and toss a ball for me
Show them love
And let them know they’re not forgotten
Wish the animals merry Christmas
In Heaven above.

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