Wednesday, July 13, 2011


I once lived in the home of Christians who had three Chihuahua’s named Mandy, Sammy and Babsie.  Although one of the smallest breeds, Chihuahua’s are pure dogs, extremely bright, loving and fiercely loyal to their owners.

God divinely interacted with all three of them, twice raising Babsie from the dead, the first of which, their missionary son witnessed.

This however is the account of how He healed Sammy.

(the sitting room to her right
 is where she was healed, nearer the
gate behind her)
What He revealed to me prior to her being healed astounded me.  Her healing cannot be substantiated scripturally, by quoting a textual reference, but it reveals that He loves all of His creation, and that His healing provision is for us all.  In the absence of an abundance of direct Scriptural references, what transpired should please animal lovers no end.

Of all their dogs, Mandy acknowledged me first.  As I walked into my bedroom one Saturday afternoon, I found her lying at the bottom edge of the bed.  From then on, she not only accepted me, but also formed a special bond with me.  Trusting me completely, she followed me everywhere, but there was no doubt that I was not her master.  Around seven in the evenings, she disappeared only to reappear early the next morning, scratching on the bedroom door, if it was shut, until I opened it for her.  We had a wonderful relationship.  She was one of the most extraordinary, unselfish, and loving animals, I have ever encountered.  Sammy was different, usually only tagging along—unless I was preparing something to eat, of course.  She would patiently wait for me to prepare whatever I was concocting, eagerly anticipating her portion.

Sammy would spend time with me but wherever she saw her owner, she would immediately leave to be with him.  On occasion, I noticed she was in pain.  When I mentioned it to her owner, he said she had back problems.  He was aware of it but did nothing to help relieve her misery.

When we took her to see a veterinarian one day (I cannot recall for what reason), I tagged along and asked him what was wrong with her.  If I remember correctly, his diagnosis was that she suffered from a pinched spinal nerve, requiring surgery to rectify it.  When I enquired what it would cost, he said approximately R 6000.00.[1]  “There is no way we can afford that!” the owner quickly responded.  They could, but emanating from the lower, poorer strata of white of South African society,[2] having failed to overcome by the renewing[3] their impoverished mindset (as Scripture exhorts), they still displayed a miserly approach to life.  They were not willing to properly care for Sammy.  I felt immensely sorry for her.  Nothing can be worse for an animal than to be stranded with such an owner.

I was “living by faith,” depending on the Lord for everything, and certainly did not have the means to even offer to pay for her surgery.  All I could do was to turn to my Creator on her behalf, which is what I did.  “Lord, help Sammy,” I would usually request.[4]

During this time, I would break bread (take communion) on my own at around 10 in the mornings, contemplating what He did for us all.  I would usually sit on a cheap, but comfortable white plastic couch, squared against a sliding door, in the living room adjoining the one containing their better quality furniture, all set in a vast open space.

As I sat there with Sammy beside me, soaking up the morning sun one day, He suddenly spoke, saying: “I suffered incalculable pain for both you and Sammy.”  It took me completely by surprise.  “Incalculable,’ is not a word I would ordinarily use.  Besides, as far as I was concerned, not having truly contemplated it before, everything could be calculated.  I have since discovered that I was mistaken, some things can never be calculated.[5]

(before her being healed)

With His words in mind I broke the bread and offered some to Sammy,”Take Sammy,” I said, “this is the Lord’s body, which was broken for you.”  I offered her some more and she accepted it.  I then stuck my finger in the wine and pointed it at her.  Licking my finger, she snorted, never having tasted wine before but tasted it nonetheless.  I offered her some more.  Again, surprisingly, she accepted it and He completely healed her—never to experience back pain again!

As I write this, recalling the incident, I am profoundly grateful for what He revealed to me that day.  We so easily accept that He bore the sins of us all—without truly comprehending the scope and enormity of it all.

Isaiah, looking forward to His crucifixion, declared prophetically: “He [Yeshua, Jesus] is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.  And we hid, as it were, [our] faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.  4 Surely He has borne our griefs[6] and carried our sorrows;[7] yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted5 But He [was] wounded for our transgressions, [He was] bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.”[8]

This text reveals that even before you or I (or Sammy or any other animal) was born, He made complete provision for all of our healing in His body.  He took every conceivable sickness and disease, and the griefs and sorrows that go along with it, upon Himself, and paid for it—so we can be free from it.  If we truly comprehend it, we would run to Him, as fast as we could, whenever we need to be healed of anything!  Seen in its proper context the pain must truly have been exactly as He described it—incalculable!

For those holding to the theological notion that animals are inferior to humans, that we have a spirit and they not; that humans only can go to heaven, I wonder what you will say when you actually see the heavenly horses pulling the chariots of God.[9]  The faces (and other features) of three of “the living creatures,” described by Ezekiel also clearly reveals “animal” features: "Also from within it [came] the likeness of four living creatures.  And this [was] their appearance: they had the likeness of a man. 6 Each one had four faces, and each one had four wings. 7 Their legs [were] straight, and the soles of their feet [were] like the soles of calves’ feet. They sparkled like the color of burnished bronze. 8 The hands of a man were under their wings on their four sides; and each of the four had faces and wings. 9 Their wings touched one another. [The creatures] did not turn when they went, but each one went straight forward. 10 As for the likeness of their faces, [each] had the face of a man; each of the four had the face of a lion on the right side, each of the four had the face of an ox on the left side, and each of the four had the face of an eagle. 11 Thus [were] their faces. Their wings stretched upward; two wings of each one touched one another, and two covered their bodies. 12 And each one went straight forward; they went wherever the spirit wanted to go, and they did not turn when they went.”[10]

Isaiah describes seraphim, creatures other than human in appearance, he saw in heaven:

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His [robe] filled the temple. 2 Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one cried to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!”[11]

These passages alone should prompt you to reconsider your theology regarding the destiny of animals.

I have been blessed to witness God’s love for all His creatures and can firsthand bear testimony to several occasions where He divinely intervened in the lives of some animals, during which both them and I encountered the living God.  God willing I will share some of these on this blog in future.

Please do not limit Him when it comes to His deeds towards animals, you would be pleasantly surprised.

Blessed be the name of the Lord God of all creation!

[1] In 1997 terms, but roughly equivalent to $ 871.52 or  € 623.53 (at current exchange rates)
[2] As that South African society generally views its own, and not an opinion I share, as God is not a respecter of persons, “But from those who seemed to be something—whatever they were, it makes no difference to me; God shows personal favoritism to no man—for those who seemed [to be something] added nothing to me.”  (Ga 2.6, Emphasis mine)
[3]And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what [is] that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. “  (Ro 12.2, Emphasis mine)
[4] Jesus said, “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” (Lk 11.8-10, Emphasis mine)
[5] The vastness of the universe, for example, and here the astrophysicists, attempting to do so, should take note.  “As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, nor the sand of the sea measured,” scripture declares.  (Je 33.22, Emphasis mine)
[6] Literally sicknesses
[7] Literally pains
[8]The New King James Version . 1996, c1982 (electronic ed.) (Is 53:3-5, Emphasis mine). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.  (Come to think of it, this passage does not exclude animals.)
[9]So he [Elisha] answered, “Do not fear, for those who [are] with us [are] more than those who [are] with them.” 17 And Elisha prayed, and said, “Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain [was] full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” (2 Ki 6.16-17, Emphasis mine)
[10]The New King James Version . 1996, c1982 (electronic ed.) (Eze 1:5-12). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
[11]The New King James Version . 1996, c1982 (electronic ed.) (Is 6:1-4). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

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