Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Sad Day

Yesterday was a sad day, as you can probably gather by the title. Smallz, our rat/mouse died. We had been feeding him Pedialyte and Kitten Replacement Milk, as suggested by the 'Rat Specialists', and I had just fed him that morning and went back to feed him again about 4-5 hours later and he had died sometime in between. I felt like I had instantly time-warped back to when I was a little kid and we'd find injured birds or baby birds who had fallen out of their nests. We'd always do our best to keep them warm and to feed them, but, ultimately, none of them ever made it. We had this one little area in our backyard where we'd have our little bird funerals and we'd put them in a small box and bury them (not that we had that many experiences with dying birds, but I know that it happened 3-4 times at least). I even started crying like you do when you're a kid... you know, that type of crying where you sound like you're hyperventilating and you're just focusing on trying to breathe... that exhausting kind of crying. I've never really cared for anything that helpless before. He couldn't do anything for himself. He had to completely rely on me, which is a scarey thought all it's own, considering I have a knack for breaking and/or losing things.

Part of the reason I was so sad was because when I really needed to step up and do something right, I completely failed. Not only that, but during the couple of days that we had him, there were several times when I was ticked off at God for putting him in my path... why did I have to take a different path on my walk that day? Why did I have to look down and see him? Why couldn't someone else have taken on this responsibility? Or, the bigger question, why did he even have to be born if you were just going to make him suffer? What it boiled down to, was that I was being inconvenienced. I wasn't able to go and run my errands or go see a movie, as planned on Sunday and, now, who knew how long I would need to take care of him... I mean, was I going to be inconvenienced for months? Trust me, I'm not proud of these thoughts and I even remember, at the time, when I was having those thoughts, 'Julie, you'd better stop thinking so selfishly... what if he dies? Then you'll really feel horrible.' Well... he died and I do feel horrible. I can't help but think that I must have done something wrong or not done something that I was supposed to do. I do feel that God has given me comfort in knowing that I tried. I didn't just leave him on the sidewalk to be burned up by the heat of the day and eaten alive by ants. At least he died a peaceful death, and maybe that was my only purpose in finding him. I mean, God is in control of absolutely everything... even something as small and simple as a mouse and I know that God doesn't want to see any of his creation suffering and maybe I was just there to remove that suffering.

Several people have told me that they don't know if they would have done the same thing that I did. But, I really find that hard to believe. The way I look at it, even if you've never had pets or, for that matter, maybe you don't even like animals, it really doesn't matter. It's very clear in the Bible that God has given humans the earth and dominion over ALL of the creatures of the earth. He's given them to us as our responsibility to take care of. It doesn't matter if you like to do it or not, you have to do it. I mean, God even commanded that animals rest on the sabbath and the Bible tells us that no sparrow falls from the sky without God knowing about it. In Psalms, it reads:

"Your righteousness is like the
mighty mountains,
Your justice like the ocean
You care for people and animals alike, O Lord."

Oh my gosh... this was appropriate... this is the Message paraphrase of this same scripture:

"...Yet in His largeness
nothing gets lost;
Not a man, not a mouse,
slips through the cracks."

Then, lastly, in Proverbs 12:10, it reads:

"The godly care for their animals,
but the wicked are always cruel."

I really don't think that I did anything that special...really... at all. My prayer is that this experience will make me less selfish and put aside my own agenda and be open to whatever God may have in store for me.