By Pastor Paul Hauschild
Chatfield and Root Prairie
I experienced the death of two dear pets of mine, both this past December. It was very sad for me. I love animals and I believe God put that sensitivity in me. I bet many of you can relate. A few years ago, the death of my little 16-year-old dog was a slow one at the end. I could tell she was waiting and waiting for sweet death to take her home. I started thinking: Just as God’s people yearn for the advent of Christ, I bet our pets have this connection, too. Why? God loves His dear creation.
Is there a place in heaven for our pets? Traditionally the church has taught that only human beings have souls, and heaven is for Christians who believe in Jesus as Savior, who came to save our souls.
However, if there’s anything I’ve learned about the Bible it’s this: God is about relationships… with Him, with each other, and with creation. If God has so blessed us with close relationships with pets on this earth, how much more will God enhance ALL relationships in Heaven. Genesis 1 reminds us of when God created all things, day by day, He said: “It is Good!” Why? Because humans were not only to have relationships with each other, but with God’s creation… including animals… including our pets. God’s perfect kingdom in the Garden of Eden included the life of not only humans, but animals who would relate to humans.
Paul writes in Romans 8:21 that “…Creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.” He then says that just as we wait for the coming of Jesus, so does creation “groan” for it. I believe pets have a special place in creation.
When God sent the prophet Jonah to Nineveh to save the people, it is stated in the last verse of the book that thousands of people were saved who didn’t know their right hand from their left, and “…also many animals.”
Is there a place in heaven for our pets? You bet! When I’ve held my dying pets and blessed them, I’ve said “goodbye” and told them that I will see them again in heaven!