It had been stinking up our backyard for several days. We knew something was under the shed; we knew it had died; we just weren’t sure what it was and where it was located under the shed.
I was attacking the Nandina shrubs, clipping them back; weeding out the ever-invasive wild violets; I allow them as they are prettier than hostas, and to my mind the purple flower is also prettier than the hosta flower.
My Sweetie was preparing to find the source of our … the stink. Masked and gloved, he proceeded to blow out from under the shed and remove all manner of boards, cardboard, tin, poles; thank you SO much, dead critter; I’ve been wanting the underbelly of the shed cleared out for years; I hadn’t nagged about it; I really never did; but thank you again dearly departed one.
Hours later, both of us sweating from our independent work sites, I heard my name called, “Grab a double trash bag! It’s a dead squirrel!”
Squirrel attended to, he then finished up; putting up pulled out debris and materials, and cleaning in and around the area; I heard another cry, “It’s a ‘possum … a baby ‘possum!” I ran towards him and then hurriedly backed away. There scurrying about was a baby ‘possum, old enough to be on his own, yet definitely a young’un. We tried to head him off from going under the deck … yet that’s exactly where he went … into the Nandina and towards the deck.
So, within three days we’ve had a snake, a dead squirrel, and a squirrely ‘possum. Just what that says I am not sure. All I know, is that God’s critters are finding our home and yard a haven.
Oh, our home … yes … forgot to mention the resident mouse … mice … that have made their home under our sink.
We have the humane traps that catch them, contain them, so we can return them safe and secure, to scamper into the field across the street. It’s just that our mouse … mice … are too smart to crawl into the box … and too much at home under our sink to want to be transported to the field across the street. Who can blame him … them?
Uh, Dear Lord, thank You for blessing us with abundant wildlife, even though we live less than a quarter of a mile … yes an easy walk … from the downtown area of one of the top growth cities in the country. Yep, here in Greenville, South Carolina, in the Upstate, we are now ranked the third largest growing city in the United States. Boy, that is the SCARIEST bit of news. I loved our small town, big city. Progress is not always a good thing in my mind.
However, Lord, you have blessed my husband and I with the homeplace where he grew up; we are in a sought after section and becoming more and more sought after. My Sweetie quips that he, “grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, and now we live in the Historic area!”
Grant us continued peace surrounding us within the hustle and bustle of city growth. Thank you for providing us a home we share with our cute little flying, jumping, scooting, scampering, burrowing, critters. We live most days outside in our yard, or on the deck, or on our beautiful Southern front porch. You know, Lord, that we honor all life that visits us; we provide seed and apples and carrots and peanuts, the occasional spicy radish, and anything else we have they might love to nibble. We do try to care for Your living creatures that share their entertaining lives with us. Please continue to bless us with love, laughter, and liveliness that only nature’s critters provide. Amen
Job 12:7-11 The Message
“But ask the animals what they think—let them teach you;
let the birds tell you what’s going on.
Put your ear to the earth—learn the basics.
Listen—the fish in the ocean will tell you their stories.
Isn’t it clear that they all know and agree
that God is sovereign, that he holds all things in his hand—
Every living soul, yes,
every breathing creature?
Isn’t this all just common sense,
as common as the sense of taste?
O God, Your Creatures Fill the Earth
Text: Carolyn Winfrey Gillette, 2011
Tune: ELLACOMBE (UM Hymnal, no. 547)
This was written as a gift to the Humane Society which now promotes an annual blessing of the animals on the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, October 4.
O God, your creatures fill the earth with wonder and delight,
And every living thing has worth and beauty in your sight.
Your playful dolphins dance and swim; Your sheep bow down and graze.
Your songbirds share a morning hymn to offer you their praise.
You made the pets we welcome in, they’re wondrous blessings, too.
With paws and whiskers, wings and fins, they offer praise to you.
O Lord, you call us to embrace these creatures in our care.
May we show kindness, love and grace to all pets everywhere.
You made the creatures on each farm; You know the things they need.
May they grow healthy, safe from harm, and safe from human greed.
Just as a shepherd loves the sheep, You know their joy, their pain.
Lord, bless the animals we keep; may all farms be humane.
Your creatures live in every land; they fill the sky and sea.
O Lord, you give us your command to love them tenderly.
We’re called to have dominion here, to care for them always.
By loving creatures you hold dear, we offer you our praise.