Serve? Be Kind? Bless the Animals, Too! (BestOf)

(the Best of) A Year of Being Kind, Sunday, June 7, 2015

I enjoy animals so much! I enjoyed the Blessing of the Animals that happened twelve months ago, too. It’s part of my church’s outreach to the community. People love their animals, and I really want to show God’s love to everyone in our community—both people and their animals.

A Year of Being Kind blog – Saturday, June 7, 2014

blessing-of-animals

Serve? Be Kind? Bless the Animals, Too!

Clear blue skies, gorgeous weather, perfect temperature. Lovely morning! What a great day to be alive! (This is me, thinking.)

What could I find today to help people? How might I be able to serve, today?

Good thing that I had a church event planned for this morning, then. Yes, the Blessing of the Animals happened this morning. And sure enough, I had the joy of meeting 16 dogs and their families outside. They all came to the church parking lot for their animals to be blessed. I talked with the families, petted and blessed the dogs, and had a wonderful morning. I had prepared for cats, too, because I know a few people like to take their cats out on leashes. Perhaps in cat carriers, as well. But we did not have any cats this time. Oh, well. Maybe next time!

My son and his good friend came to help me with the animals. As I put it to the guys, I appreciated animal wranglers. I did have several dogs in the parking lot at one time, on a few occasions this morning. The guys really helped me out, and did their best to manage every dog! They acted as able-bodied assistants, and moral support as well.

I love animals, especially dogs. They offer companionship, warmth, and especially love. And as far as engaging their human families? They can connect with them in a fundamental way, and provide a great deal of mutual enjoyment and satisfaction.

Tomorrow is Pentecost, the birthday of the Church. I’ve been reflecting on the Church, and how the ideal picture of that community of believers is a lot like the relationship between animals and their human families. The Church also provides companionship, warmth, and especially love. And as far as engaging their fellow believers? They all connect in a fundamental way. Or, at least, that’s the ideal picture of believers coming together.

What about my son and his friend, acting as assistants? The analogy can be extended. The leader of the Church (or, the group of believers) needs assistants or helpers. These helpers direct and manage the activities of the individuals, or perhaps small groups. And, the helpers provide support and aid to the leader (or leaders), too.

All in all, my son, his good friend, and I had a wonderful time this morning with the animals and their human families. I blessed and prayed for a number of dogs! I also had an awesome opportunity to show the community that our church is active and cares about the people who live right next door. And on the next block. And down the street. That kind of opportunity is amazing.

I wonder what kind of opportunity for service will happen tomorrow? God willing, I’ll be ready!

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

(Suggestion: visit me at my daily blog for 2015: matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers.   @chaplaineliza And read #40acts sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er – Thanks!)
 

 

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A Tiring Day. A Day to Be Kind, Too?

A Year of Being Kind blog – Sunday, October 12, 2014

What autumn is supposed to look like.  (Photo credit - Kevin Jones)

What autumn is supposed to look like.
(Photo credit – Kevin Jones)

A Tiring Day. A Day to Be Kind, Too?

Today was a good day. Enjoyable, busy, filled with hustle bustle. Greeting friends, acquaintances, and fellow congregation members. This was also the end of a hectic, week-long time of preparation. I did an enjoyable presentation yesterday morning, which was quite satisfying. But in terms of preparation and planning? I was running, running all week, doing both pastoral care and pastor-things, as well as preparation, planning and group facilitator things (for yesterday).

When I finally got home in the early afternoon, I was tired. Done in. Blitzed. Tuckered out. Even though everything I’ve been involved in for over a week has been enjoyable, worthwhile and rewarding, now that I am at the end of it, I still felt extremely tired. (Still am.) I put up my feet for a bit. That felt wonderful, to finally slow down and to relax.

Since the weather was so beautiful today (and it was! Simply gorgeous autumn day!), my husband and I went out later in the afternoon. We traveled to a park along the lake, and walked. Windswept, yet temperate day for mid-October. I enjoyed everything about our walk. The bright sun on the sand, the variegated color of the leaves. We even saw a newer park bench overlooking the lake under the trees with a plaque on it. The plaque read: “Honey, let’s go down to the lake” and the two names of the couple who gave that bench.

As we gazed at that plaque, I felt a whisper of sorrow, loss, yearning. My husband nodded when I communicated that feeling. “I think one or the other of that couple put that bench here with the plaque attached,” he thought out loud. “One of the couple passed on, and the remaining half donated that bench to the park district. That’s what I’m guessing.” I paused, next to the bench. I felt sorrow and emptiness for this couple. I truly did. And then, ran to catch up with my husband.

I smiled and nodded to a number of people who lived nearby that park. Including dogs, and their human companions. I looked forward to a low key evening, and decided then and there to strive to be kind as much as possible. Being particularly tired, I knew I would not be able to do much.

I wonder—do I still act in a kind manner, even when I’m tired to pieces? Interesting question. I wouldn’t like to find out anytime soon, though. God, help me to be kind, no matter what is going on all around me. No matter how exhausted I may be. Thanks for God’s help!

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Serve? Be Kind? Bless the Animals, Too!

A Year of Being Kind blog – Saturday, June 7, 2014

blessing-of-animals

Serve? Be Kind? Bless the Animals, Too!

Clear blue skies, gorgeous weather, perfect temperature. Lovely morning! What a great day to be alive! (This is me, thinking.)

What could I find today to help people? How might I be able to serve, today?

Good thing that I had a church event planned for this morning, then. Yes, the Blessing of the Animals happened this morning. And sure enough, I had the joy of meeting 16 dogs and their families outside. They all came to the church parking lot for their animals to be blessed. I talked with the families, petted and blessed the dogs, and had a wonderful morning. I had prepared for cats, too, because I know a few people like to take their cats out on leashes. Perhaps in cat carriers, as well. But we did not have any cats this time. Oh, well. Maybe next time!

My son and his good friend came to help me with the animals. As I put it to the guys, I appreciated animal wranglers. I did have several dogs in the parking lot at one time, on a few occasions this morning. The guys really helped me out, and did their best to manage every dog! They acted as able-bodied assistants, and moral support as well.

I love animals, especially dogs. They offer companionship, warmth, and especially love. And as far as engaging their human families? They can connect with them in a fundamental way, and provide a great deal of mutual enjoyment and satisfaction.

Tomorrow is Pentecost, the birthday of the Church. I’ve been reflecting on the Church, and how the ideal picture of that community of believers is a lot like the relationship between animals and their human families. The Church also provides companionship, warmth, and especially love. And as far as engaging their fellow believers? They all connect in a fundamental way. Or, at least, that’s the ideal picture of believers coming together.

What about my son and his friend, acting as assistants? The analogy can be extended. The leader of the Church (or, the group of believers) needs assistants or helpers. These helpers direct and manage the activities of the individuals, or perhaps small groups. And, the helpers provide support and aid to the leader (or leaders), too.

All in all, my son, his good friend, and I had a wonderful time this morning with the animals and their human families. I blessed and prayed for a number of dogs! I also had an awesome opportunity to show the community that our church is active and cares about the people who live right next door. And on the next block. And down the street. That kind of opportunity is amazing.

I wonder what kind of opportunity for service will happen tomorrow? God willing, I’ll be ready!

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.