All creatures cared for by God

My daughter expressed concern the other day about what the future might hold for some animals we had seen. The first was a dog that was patiently waiting with his master, an unkempt hitchhiker, on the side of the highway. The dog looked tired, and my daughter wondered if it was being well cared for. We had also seen an orphaned lamb being sheltered in a country veterinary office. But that made my daughter think about all the other orphaned animals in the farming community. Would they be provided with similar opportunities, or sent off to an uncertain future?

I realized I needed to look deeper into what I was accepting about the animals. It was not enough to think or say that the hitchhiker probably took good care of his dog, or that there were many responsible and caring people in the world who made efforts to meet the needs of helpless creatures.

Later that evening, under the marginal heading “Creatures of God useful,” I read in the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, “All of God’s creatures, moving in the harmony of Science, are harmless, useful, indestructible” (Mary Baker Eddy, p. 514), and “God is the Life, or intelligence, which forms and preserves the individuality and identity of animals as well as of men” (p. 550).

I felt a greater need to identify myself and all creatures, including animals, as spiritual. Divine Spirit, being the sole creator and power encompassing the universe, could create only that which is spiritual. God’s creatures, the perfect manifestations of the one infinite intelligence, are made to glorify God. 

In Genesis 1:24 we read, “And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.” Mrs. Eddy offers a spiritual interpretation of that verse in her exegesis of it in Science and Health: “Spirit diversifies, classifies, and individualizes all thoughts, which are as eternal as the Mind conceiving them; but the intelligence, existence, and continuity of all individuality remain in God, who is the divinely creative Principle thereof” (p. 513).

Reading that gave me a sense of peace and confidence in the divine order of continuous, harmonious existence. The divine consciousness is the only real existence for us all, and our Maker maintains the true, eternal substance of each idea. 

When disturbing mind-pictures parade before our thought, we can realize that they do not have power to distract us from healthy, harmonious contemplation. They are untrue because they are not of God. I’ve found it wise to see negative mental images for what they really are—distractions that would lead us away from God and into the belief that there is some area where God’s power is not supreme and governing all. It is better to quickly determine the situation that presents itself in thought. Does it have divine acceptance—is it known to God, good? If it isn’t good, then it isn’t true or real. It’s a false suggestion that God’s creatures can somehow be separated from Him, unloved and uncared for. We can reach out for divine inspiration to counteract that lie. 

One day a friend who has a tiny dog named Coco went to pick her up from the veterinary, where she had undergone a spaying procedure. While the vet showed kindness toward Coco, she also made some negative predictions about the dog’s health, saying she was “a high-needs girl” with possible genetic problems.

Back at home, the little dog wasn’t recuperating as expected from the surgery. She was ill with diarrhea and vomiting and hadn’t taken food or water for some days. When my friend asked for prayerful support, I reasoned that only what God knew about Coco was true and must result in good, because God’s law is the law of harmony. My friend and I endeavored to see Coco’s real, spiritual nature, untouched by mortal belief and forever expressed in perfect health and wholeness. We also affirmed that because God is the only Mind, there were no limited mortal minds to interfere with God’s holy purpose for any creature that He made. This negated the kindly but ignorant belief in inherited discords.

Within a short time my friend reported that the symptoms of illness had ceased, and Coco was eating and drinking again. Whereas before the healing she had been frail, afterward she blossomed into a strong, sturdy little dog. Today, several years later, this joy-giving wee doggie has no vestige of the problem. The words of Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end,” apply to animals, too.

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