Thursday, January 27, 2011

Prayer for One Grieving Over the Loss of a Pet

I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.
I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.
For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.
All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.
Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?
Wherefore I perceive that there is nothing better, than that a man should rejoice in his own works; for that is his portion: for who shall bring him to see what shall be after him?
Ecclesiastes 3:17-22.

Oh Creator of all living things, and Giver of every good and perfect gift, we thank you for the gift of living creatures. You have made each thing according to its kind, each finds its place in your creation. You have given us dominion over the earth and put living things into our care, including our pets. We thank you for these animal friends, and while we know they cannot provide the fellowship given by members of our own kind, we thank you for the love and joy that comes from these fellow creatures.

We ask you now to comfort the master of a beloved pet who has gone the way of all flesh. All the living will likewise die, and the death of one of your image-bearers is far more consequential than that of a dog or cat. Yet the master grieves the loss of an animal companion, one put in his or her care. Fond memories of pet’s can last a lifetime. We ask that the manifold sorrows of this veil of tears not overwhelm the master, that life without their beloved pet would find healing and that the memories of this unique creature would bring happiness and consolation even in light of the bitterness of loss.

In the name of Jesus Christ, the Great Shepherd of the Sheep.


Monday, January 17, 2011

Objects of Grief

We grieve the loss of loved ones to death and debility. They are, in that sense, the objects of grief. Yet there are others: anything closely associated with that person in our minds. For example, for the several months during which my mother was sick, declining, and eventually dying, I dreaded phone calls, because they were often bad news. The phone calls from mother, which had been often, eventually ceased. After her death, the phone has a different meaning to me. It can no longer give the bad news. The bad news has come. She is dead. And the phone can no longer bring me the voice of my mother. (She never took up the computer, saying, "I'd waste too much time on it if I had one.")

Mother lived far way, in Anchorage, Alaska--the land of my birth. The distance (and other factors) made it difficult for me to visit her or for her to visit me. She stopped traveling a few years ago. However, we often spoke on the phone, an almost always on Sundays. It was a kind of ritual. And mother was a champion talker. Now Sundays are silent in that way, and lonely.

So the phone has become something very different than it used to be (as have many other objects: photographs, gifts form her and more). The telephone is motherless, as am I. Yet I am not without a loving wife, caring friends, and a faithful God who promises to one day take away every tear from this people. But not yet...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


When you need to weep,

When others need to weep,
let them weep.

When the world weeps,
weep along with it.

Not all our tears will
be unrequited.

Friday, January 7, 2011

If this bleeding, broken, and groaning world does not repeatedly break your heart, then you know nothing of yourself, the world, or of God.