Most of us believe that there is a God and that he is a merciful God. We believe that one day our lives here on earth will end and we hope that at that moment, as we exhale for the very last time, we will look upon heaven. We also may believe that we will be judged at that very moment and an immediate decision will be handed down, a decision that could mean that we must spend eternity in the most horrible place ever imagined, or in heaven with the Lord our God and the many people we have loved in our lives. Forever; it’s an almost unfathomable word, isn’t it? Forever! There will be no end.
I, along with you pray and hope to be welcomed in heaven. I very much want to see my parents again and I’m positive that they are there. I pray and will keep praying that my children will live long and happy lives, although I already know that one day, they too will pass. I try so hard not to think about that, but even so, reality is reality. And so with that said I will want very badly to see them in heaven and spend forever with them all.
And now I must wonder, how will we be judged? Who will do the judging, God? We already know how merciful he is, how forgiving he is. He gave his only son for us. If indeed God does the judging, we will be in good shape because he can’t and won’t hold anything against us if in fact we are truly sorry, and he will know the truth. Will we be judged by the apostles, the blessed mother, Maybe Jesus? Perhaps it will be a jury of our peers?
I truly, and I mean this, I truly believe and hope that we will be judged by every one of the animals that we encountered in our lives. Yes, animals, Gods special creatures that were put here to live a life of pure instinct and innocence. They weren’t given the ability to rationalize things and think about how many are in their family and what should we have for dinner. They only ever came into our lives because of a need, a need for food, for care and for love and compassion.
I believe that how I’ve handled those animals, the cats and dogs, the opossums and deer, the skunks and beavers and squirrels and hawks will determine my fate. I hope and pray that ALL of them decide my forever and I know that in years past I’ve done things that weren’t right. I was raised hunting animals and I remember a time when I cared little about them. But compassion entered my life many years ago and I changed, hopefully not too late. I’m sorry to say that I have little compassion for fellow man still, I feel very little for that guy on the corner holding up his sign that says he’s hungry and God bless as he sips his beer out of a brown wrapper. That man and all men were blessed with the ability to think and make decisions in life, unlike our animals and pets. And yes, hard times can befall us all and I’m really sorry, but that cat or dog that showed up in your yard last week wet, hurt and hungry didn’t choose to be that way. I’d bet some heartless owner allowed him to break free and get lost and hit by a car, and now all he wants is someone to care, to love him just for a moment, just long enough to show a little compassion. Don’t get me wrong, we help others in many ways, we give money and blood, and we volunteer time and prayer, but we don’t give money to people standing at the intersections. But is any of it really compassion?
To me compassion means caring for a hurt animal. Compassion means feeding a hungry animal. Driving down the road, a road put there for our own sake with NO regard to our animals, and seeing something that has been hit and injured or killed by a car laying there is more than my wife and I can take. It’s disheartening to see some ones pet lying there dead or even worse not yet dead, maybe suffering and no one seems to care. Perhaps a thousand people will drive by and maybe a few will say “Oh, that’s a shame”, most won’t give it another thought. I’d almost be willing to bet that whoever hit the animal probably didn’t even stop, not even to see if it was suffering or could be saved.
Maybe they would if they thought that perhaps these are the ones that will determine their forever. Maybe they would even stop and pick up these poor animals killed on our roads and give them just once, in a final act of compassion, enough dignity to move it out of the road, perhaps for the only time in their life any compassion was ever shown them. I do. Do you? I can’t just drive by and watch someone’s beloved pet lie there. And now you know why I want to be judged by all of the animals that have ever entered my life, for I will spend the rest of my days showing them love, dignity and compassion.
Glen C. Schulz © copyright 2008.