Monday, July 7, 2008

The Blood of the Innocent

[Above- Saint Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals]

Last night as I was driving home from the store for a quick pick-up of Reece's Peanut Butter cups, I drove into my driveway and noticed a cat leaping off into the woods from near my garage door. As I got out and began walking up the driveway towards the sidewalk, I was greeted by an incredibly heart-wrenching sight. A kitten, 7 inches long, crushed and bleeding on the driveway. I checked to see if its eyes responded to light and saw no change. I said a brief prayer for the poor animal, whom I did not even know I had run over when it happened, asking God to keep it from pain and to grant a quick departure to better places.

I went inside to get some plastic bags to wrap it in for disposal. When I went back out to take care of the poor little kittens corpse, I saw it was still breathing, struggling to take ragged, wet breaths once every 15 seconds. What do I do? I felt I had no choice. I carefully bundled the small, broken animal on top of the plastic bags and took it in my truck for a trip to the emergency animal hospital. It continued to breath, but when I was a little more than halfway to the hospital, it curled up oddly, shook its hind legs a bit and died, there on the passenger seat.

I turned around and came home, with a sad feeling in my heart. I called my friend Mary to talk to her about it, and she was very helpful and supportive to me. I prayed again, and asked the little animal to forgive me and went to bed.

This morning I asked the patron saint of animals, Saint Francis of Assisi, to look after the little kitten who died.

In retrospect, as I think about the terrific struggle this small creature had, trying to cling to life, it reminds me of the price Jesus paid, how difficult his struggle must have been, to lay his life down purposefully, in obedience to God, on our behalf. It is one thing to say, yes, Jesus died for us. It is quite another to see firsthand, this innocent creature, blood flowing from its helpless body, matting its fur, and imparting and understanding that suffering and more to Christ, God's son.

Dear Jesus, Please forgive me for taking your suffering for granted. Forgive me for taking your obedience for granted. Thank you for showing me a little of what you went through, and forgive me for it taking the life of an innocent one in order for you to get my attention. Let this lesson stay with me, and not be forgotten. Amen.

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