The peaceable kingdom
Children crowd around the animal cages in the local pet shop, their voices mingling in squeals of delight and tender sighs of awe and longing. Possession of a pet can provide a focal point of interest for an entire family. Observing an animal's development from infantile charm and cuddliness to a mature expression of intelligence, alertness, strength, and grace can be instructive. It can be a mutual blessing to both pet and owner. For the child, it serves the two-fold purpose of teaching responsibility and directing the inquisitive thought to aspects of relationships in the natural world; to the procreative, protective, and nurturing habits that preserve its balance and foster perpetuity.
The experience can also serve to direct thought to the power underlying the multifarious forms of life, beauty, and utility intermingling within the natural kingdom. The Bible, in pointing out the universal, divine nature of this power, makes extensive reference to this kingdom. Speaking of God's providential nature, Christ Jesus said, "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father." n1 King David, when a shepherd boy, attributed to God his ability to defend his flock from the carnivorous instincts of a lion and a bear, while the prophet Isaiah depicted the millennial state as devoid of such instincts. "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." n2
n1 Matthew 10:29.
n2 Isaiah 11:6.
The teachings of Christian Science shed light on the devine power by using the terms "Principle" and "Love" as synonyms for God. "Love" defines the nurturing, tender caring nature of God in relation to His creation; God's motherhood. "Principle" might be thought of as pointing to the impartial, protective government of God over His creation; His fatherhood. This divine parenthood preserves the harmony of its creation, sheltering and supplying abundantly each individual being, precluding the necessity for carnivorous or parasitic instincts.
In the Christian Science textbook, Mary Baker Eddy n3 states: "Understanding the control which Love held over all, Daniel feld safe in lions' den, and Paul proved the viper to be harmless. All of God's creatures, moving in the harmony of Science, are harmless, useful, indestructible. A realization of this grand verity was a source of strength to the ancient worthies." n4
n3 Mrs. Eddy is the discoverer and Founder of Christian science.
n4 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,m p. 514.
In our prayer for the well-being of our pets, my family and I have frequently pressed into service the spiritual facts stated above. And spiritual facts are universal in their application. Therefore they are just as effecive whether utilized within the domestic precincts or prayerfully applied on behalf of the worldwide efforts of agencies and individuals working to preserve our heritage of beauty and versatility expressed in the domains of wildlife.
As human being thought is freed from the belief in evil made manifest as destructive forces, the millennial state will be seen to be a present actuality. The effect will be extinction, not to a species of life, but to the carnivorous instincts and a avaricious exploitation evolving from these beliefs.
In the interim, every least expression of tender reciprocity and intelligent concerned interest within and about the natural kingdom may be cherished as a step toward this ideal. DAILY BIBLE VERSE . . . I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. Joel 2:28