Mumford was sound asleep this morning when the rest of us went outside. Miss Annie and the Duchess split off and went their ways as they usually do while the Budster and I walked the circuit clockwise around the yard. After he generously watered the important things, we slowed down to enjoy the damp, foggy morning. We were rounding the last corner to head back to the house when time stood still. Images of the past rapidly flashed in front of me, one after the other. I saw the first day we met Buddy. I was there in the yard as he came running from somewhere in the garbage on the porch. I was watching him sadly say goodbye at the gate as we drove away. I was there as he cried when we came to visit. I was there when I hugged him and said, “No more. You’re coming home with us.” I was there when blood was gushing out of his nose during his heart worm treatment. I was there when his back legs gave out and he collapsed to the ground. I was there when he was in horrendous pain but still mustered the strength to go outside. I was there. I was there…and I wondered, do dogs pray?
As he shivered uncontrollably on bitter cold, winter nights, did he beg God for warmth? Depressed as he sat alone day in, day out, year after year, did he ask God for a friend? While we were sopping up blood as it poured from his nose onto the floor, did he cry out in fear, “God, help me”? And now when he falls asleep at night, does he sigh, “Thank you God.” How many times in his life did Buddy want to die? How many times did he ask God if he could please come home?
People make prayer out to be this mystical ritual that must adhere to certain rules but prayer is simply talking to God. Some people raise their voices and speak in King James English. Some quietly bow their heads and softly whisper. Some literally go into a closet and close the door. Some lay in the dirt of a fenced yard or on a pile of garbage in a back alley of a busy city and they groan.
Yes, I believe Buddy prays. I believe he hears God’s voice. They talk. I know they do. All of creation is alive and as such is in direct communication with the Creator. Everything around us is petitioning God, praying, if you will. Everything.
39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”
40 “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”
We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.
You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.
Yes, Buddy prays, our dogs pray, the raccoons, deer, turkey, quail, owls and even the field mice are all in constant contact with the Creator. So are the rocks and trees and all of creation. Mumford prayed for a home where she could be safe and loved. She prayed when she was so hungry that she had to eat gravel. She asks God for help when she can’t breathe. Miss Annie prays not only for herself but I’m sure she also prays for the other dogs. I sometimes wonder if she prays for me. You know the Duchess prays for strength and sight and the strength to fulfill her duties here at the house.
Mark 16:15 says:
He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”
ALL of creation, not just white-skinned people in the west or dark skinned, loin cloth wearing, non-English speaking natives. ALL of creation. Have we as a society forgotten what “all” means? Talk to your fur babies about God. Share the good news with the flowers and trees and cows in your yard if you have them. Aren’t they are already sharing that good news with you?
ALL of creation is groaning, ALL of creation is crying out, ALL of creation is praying every single moment of every single day. Why aren’t we?