All Creatures of Our God and King

“All creatures of our God and King, lift up your voice and with us sing, hallelujah!”

It was my husband who taught me to appreciate all the creatures of the world. Before I met him, my habit was to stay a good distance away from animals, and certainly not to touch them. Grimy fur, wet tongues, and clawing paws–disgusting! One by one I’ve broken all my rules. I willingly solicit puppy drool and run my fingers through all manners of fur, even smothering my face in puppy squishes.

My dislike puzzles me in retrospect, for every animal’s wonder and beauty now seems so clear. Each has his own defining habits: one seems to perpetually sleep, another performs a lifetime of chewing, still another glides aimlessly through the water. They simply act in accordance with their varying gifts, without trying to add more to them, or be something different.

Spencer the dog enjoying the mud.

This is our mutt (called so affectionately) at the dog park. She torpedoes through vast murky puddles quite intensionally, as if trying to see how drenched she can possibly get. No matter that the water is ice-cold melted snow, she runs back and forth, back and forth across the field, testing the strength in her leg muscles and pushing her speed. I well up with glee watching her, for she is doing exactly what she was made to do and doing it with all her heart. She was made to play, and she is playing with abandon.

Cress reaching towards the sky.

This is Cress. It sprouted from mere seed to ready-to-eat greenery in three days. It too is fulfilling its simple destiny. It was born on a mission–grow, grow, grow–and grow it does, with mighty pleasure it seems to me.

I stand awed at both of their freedom. Neither question if playing (or sprouting) is the most valuable use of their time, nor do they strive for the robin’s gift of flight, or the daffodil’s gift to blossom. They are a vision of contentment; a contentment that does not sit back, but grabs life with both hands! Perhaps living meaningfully can be as simple as rejoicing in whatever motions any particular day offers: today my feet have the pleasure of walking around the neighborhood, tomorrow my taste buds may enjoy a hot drink. Perhaps I too am a creature of our God and king, and I can gladden His heart by rejoicing in the extraordinary motions every simple day affords.



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