Over the course of this morning and last night, I read The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis. I'm not here to tell you it was an awesome book and that I enjoyed it immensely...because well, I didn't. I *do* enjoy the works of C.S. Lewis, I just wasn't overly fond of this particular piece, although it now holds a special place in my heart.
So why did I read it? It wasn't that I had any great desire to see his thoughts on Heaven or Hell...years of being a Christian have lent their own ideas of Heaven and Hell to my imagination. No, it was the fact that our preacher had mentioned it a few Sundays ago in one of his sermons. I thought it might be interesting to check out. And God was obviously leading me in this direction. I'll get to why I believe that in a few minutes.
If you're a friend or a reader of my blog, you know this hasn't been the easiest of weeks for me. I lost one of my dearest friends, my first baby--my cat, Pritsha. I've cried myself to sleep every night. My heart aches. Every night Pritsha would sleep with me, nuzzle my hair, spend a few minutes loving on each other. This was our time, since most of my days are devoted to doing all the things being a mom and wife requires. Pritsha understood--her days were devoted to all the things that being a cat requires--sleeping and searching for that ever elusive patch of warmth and sunlight :)
The hardest thing I've had to face this week is that I'll never get to hold her again. I miss her so much. And regardless of the fact that we told Reagan that Pritsha is Heaven with God, I wasn't really sure that I believed it. The Bible mentions nothing about our pets going to Heaven--and why should it? The Bible is written for our Salvation..not theirs-animals don't need saving, we do.
I spent a lot of time this week researching to see if there was any tangible Biblical evidence that would show me that Pritsha was in Heaven with God. But the Bible was silent. God Himself felt silent. I know I've been blocking Him, which I think is common for those in pain. But obviously, although I've *felt* only silence from God, He was still there, leading me in my pain.
I read somewhere online this week, that there is a reason God gives us these animals to love and cherish--He is obviously trying to teach us about unconditional love, because they are true examples of it. And would a God who loves us and created such an amazing creation on earth, and an even more miraculous one in Heaven really leave us feeling so desolate for the love we gave our pets, and the love they gave back? I think not.
How many of you, when picturing Heaven have pictured streets paved with gold, mansions, wispy clouds and ethereal beings bathed in light? A God who created such an amazingly lush landscape as we have on earth is not going to leave animals and vegetation out of Heaven. The Bible mentions again and again that creatures of the earth will have their place in Heaven--we just know not whether they are new or old creations. But again, would God let us grow to love something with such unconditional love and accept theirs back, that He would leave us without them? I choose to believe God wouldn't.
And here is what leads me to The Great Divorce. Almost near the end of the book, when I was nearly ready to throw in the towel because it was simply dragging on and on, there is a scene with a woman--an angel? a saved person?-who is walking, led by a procession through the Valley of the Shadow of Life. The woman is surrounded by bright Spirits, those that loved her-rows of girls and boys, bathed in light and love, musicians singing in her honor. ...And then, her beasts. Rows upon rows of cats, dogs, horses, birds.....
The Ghost in whose shoes we are walking, asks "What are all these animals?" And the Angel who accompanies him replies, "Every beast and bird that came near her had its place in her love. In her they became themselves. And now the abundance of life she has in Christ from the Father flows over into them."
Beautiful? Yes. And it just happens to correspond with this thought from Dr. Moira Allen: "My own personal view on this question is that, just as humans are redeemed through the love of God, pets may possibly be "redeemed" through our love. 1 Cor. 7:12-14 speaks of the sanctification of a household through an individual; while it may be stretching a point to suppose that this household might include pets, it's not a completely illogical stretch."
I'm not saying that our pets do or do not go to Heaven. The Bible again, is silent. But I do know that God obviously was leading me somewhere this week--something He set in motion several weeks ago that came to fruition today--and yes, I firmly believe God was leading me along this path. So is Pritsha in Heaven? Only God knows the answer, but in my heart I believe she is there with Him, resting in a a perfect patch of sunshine and knowing love much more incredible than any I could possibly have shared.
I believe one day my family will be united with God in Heaven and Pritsha will be there, eager to share with us all that she has enjoyed with her and our Creator.