by Barbara Mraz

      All the pets I’ve ever owned have had voices and distinct personalities. In a household with children, pets can voice things that aren’t comfortably said by humans. “Dolly says she’s scared,” said four-year-old Emily when the thunderstorm started. “Cindy says she feels a little sick,” comes from six-year-old Anna. “Silas says he doesn’t want to have company today.”
      I am even more of an animal lover now than I was earlier. Living alone during the quarantine, my cat Finley is company, comfort and companionship. She also can be entertainment. Last time I preached, she interjected some needed drama by swooping across the screen and loudly knocking over a full glass of ice water on the desk. She is someone to hug, someone to talk to, someone in-house to love. I talk to her as soon as I come in the door, and sometime even when she’s not in the room (don’t judge). I would have a dog or four dogs (Golden Retrievers, like Oprah) if I could but that’s not my life now.
     I watch a lot of animal videos, and rarely dislike any of them. Dogs, otters, llamas, elephants, hummingbirds –bring it on!

      I clipped this out off the newspaper recently, neglecting to include the source but here it is: “Above all, dogs are witnesses. They are allowed access to our most private moments. They are there when we think we are alone. They sit on the laps of presidents. They see acts of love and violence, quarrels and feuds, and the secret play of children. If they could tell us all they have seen, all the gaps of our lives would stitch themselves together.”

     Dogs know a lot more than we think (the jury may be out on cats). Behind those always-beautiful eyes is a presence and a sensibility that is immense. I can’t prove it but I just know.
     Sunday’s Gospel is kind of like that. It’s about the Holy Spirit. Most of us would rather talk about the Creator or Jesus but that’s not what we have on Sunday. I’ll give it a shot though, and supplement it with a movie selection – as Craig and Jered have done earlier (I guess we have another series going). I won’t mention the way the rector blatantly stole my chosen ”artist” for the music series even though I had told him that Prince is mine. There will be payback on Sunday as I claim the film that is the personal favorite of both of us (hard to believe but true!). Look: the rector now has not one but two dogs. No need to feel sorry for him when justice is dispensed.
    Heh heh.
     You’ll see me in virtual church. Maybe the cat, too.

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