Creatures, Pets, And Prayer
Bringing a spiritual perspective to world events and daily life.
To seek humbly to understand how God governs all things is a good thing. "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness," said Christ Jesus (Matthew 6:33). And this spiritual quest to understand God's government of His creation should reach into every facet of daily life. Nothing is too trivial to be included.
A receptivity to God's ideas led to the discovery of Christian Science in 1866. Mary Baker Eddy found the truth of being in the Bible. Her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures explains God and His creation as they really are. God is the divine Principle of all real being. He is infinite Life, Truth, Love, Spirit, Mind, and Soul. These synonyms point to the unlimited diversity of God's nature. And they show the true nature of His creation-man and the universe-for God's creation is His pure and perfect reflection.
The whole universe of spiritual ideas exists in God-the divine Mind. And we express this Mind. Mrs. Eddy writes: "Man is idea, the image, of Love; he is not physique. He is the compound idea of God, including all right ideas" (Science and Health, p. 475). So you and I, as God's idea, man, include in consciousness the right idea-God's idea-of every creature in the universe. To seek to know these ideas is what Jesus' followers are expected to do. I find that to be a great and practical adventure, with touching results in day-to-day living.
When our older son was about ten, he had a pet hamster. He kept it in a cage in his bedroom and did a good job of caring for its needs. But one evening he brought me into his room to show me that his hamster was sick, and to ask me to pray for it. It had an open sore and was obviously doing poorly. "I'll be happy to pray for your hamster," I said, "but what are you going to be doing?" He said he was going to be watching the basketball tournament on television. With a smile and a hug I quipped tenderly, "Perhaps next time you don't feel well, I should go to a movie." He got the point and agreed to go into my room, where he could be by himself with the Bible and Science and Health and read and pray until he felt quite sure that the law of God, and not disease, was in control of his hamster. While he did so, I studied and prayed in the living room.
I had shown our son a few things in these books that could help him understand how God cares for His creatures-His spiritual ideas. One passage that I've always loved in the Bible speaks to me of the harmony that can come into the experience of an individual as the result of his or her demonstrated unity with God. It reads: "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them" (Isaiah 11:6). Both our son and I were right then entertaining a childlike receptivity to God and His ideas. In about an hour he came to tell me the ideas he had thought about, and said he felt sure his hamster was being well cared for by God.
At six o'clock the next morning our son ran to share his happiness at finding his hamster fully recovered. It was a precious moment as we went into his room to rejoice together over his healthy pet. To me, it was but one example of many that we have had in our family of the truth of this statement of Mrs. Eddy's: "All of God's creatures, moving in the harmony of Science, are harmless, useful, indestructible" (Science and Health, p. 514).
We need the right idea of God's creatures in order to understand the truth of existence and to destroy evil. Spiritual ideas heal because they correct in human consciousness material beliefs that result in unrighteousness, unhappiness, disease, and mortality. Material beliefs bring with them a sense of domination-one creature dominating other creatures, evil dominating over man, and an evil man dominating the earth. Spiritual ideas, on the other hand, bring dominion-the ability to demonstrate that God, good, is governing all, that we reflect God's government, and that our dominion blesses the whole earth, including all its creatures.