pecaspers: a Blog in transition

March 15, 2011

In Memorium of Malachi Peterson-Caspers

Filed under: My Life in General,New Home — pecaspers @ 12:00 AM
Tags: , , , ,

I sat down in my recliner and my cat didn’t come try to jump in my lap. That made me sad.

I went to the back bathroom a little while ago, and there’s not a litter box in there anymore. That made me sad.

I went into the nursery earlier and as I left it, I realized it didn’t matter anymore if I left that door open. That made me sad.

I swept the kitchen this afternoon, and now there is no more little bits of cat food in the corner, because there is no longer a food bowl there. That made me sad.

I put the body of my most constantly present and unconditionally loving friend, comforter, and confidant (except for the Holy Spirit of God) into the ground today. And that makes me sad.

But we do not mourn like those who have no hope! (1 Thessalonians 4:13) And we are blessed in our mourning because we shall be comforted! (Matthew 5:4) That gives me comfort.

Jessica, Peter, and I gathered in our back yard today to have a funeral for our beloved cat Malachi. If you find that strange, then I pity you for having such a small and hard heart. If you question the validity of a Christian funeral for a cat, then you need to keep reading because what follows is the essence of my message at the funeral, albeit more fully developed here.

God, in His Word, has not clearly revealed the eternal destiny of animals. In the beginning, when God made everything, He spoke animals into being and they were formed out of the ground (Genesis 1:24, 2:19). That is to say that they are made from the same dirt from which Man was made. The LORD did not breath into them his spirit, but he did put the breath of life into them. And everything that the LORD made was declared good; there was no sin, there was no death, all that God created was meant to last for all eternity. Man fell, and all creation was cursed, but in the beginning, even cats were meant to live forever.

Scripture is clear that though the animal kingdom has been placed under the authority of Man, all creatures belong ultimately to God. He owns the cattle on a thousand hills, He feeds the ravens and the lions, He knows every time a sparrow lands on the ground (Psalm 50:10, Psalm 104:21, Psalm 147:9, Matthew 10:29). God displays His goodness and glory through the way he has made and provides for his creatures (Job 38-41, Matthew 6:26). Animals are part of God’s good creation and He cares for them, and this is clearly taught in Scripture.

Isaiah speaks of the new heavens and the new earth as having animals, re-created and living in peace just as God’s people are (Isaiah 11:6-9; 65:17, 25). In Revelation 21:5 the Lamb of God calls out from His throne, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And so we might yet hope to see our beloved pets made new in the eternal Kingdom of God.

In this life, Malachi was a good kitty. He was well-behaved and well-loved, and he brought a great deal of happiness to our home. We are thankful to God for the gift of the time we had with Malachi. And he will live on in our memories if nowhere else. He is in no more pain. He died wrapped in a blanket he loved to sleep on, warmed by the morning sun, breathing fresh spring air, hearing birds sing, outside…and without anyone telling him to get back inside.

Now Malachi sleeps in death, and this is the way of all things. We were brought forth from the ground, and to the ground we return. But while I don’t know for certain if I will ever see my cat again, I do know for certain that my eternal destiny is clear. Jessica and I know that Jesus Christ has died on our behalf. Our bodies will one day “sleep,” but we will never truly die. THIS is our joy, that while we lay our kitty-friend to rest, we know that our own souls will one day loose these mortal coils and rise to be with Him who has already risen from the dead.

And we rejoiced at the amazing grace that God has given us. Then I placed my friend’s body in the ground, still wrapped in that blanket, with almost every appearance that he was merely curled up asleep in that cardboard box. And I covered the box with dirt, and I planted a tree over him. The tree came from the yard of our first home, and so now we will leave both a part of our first home and a part of our family here if/whenever God calls us away from this place. But like I said, this is the way of things. And we do not mourn like those who have no hope.

Do you have that same hope? Malachi does not bear the weight of moral responsibility like you and I do. While they have to endure the same curse placed on Man who was given authority over them, animals will not stand and be judged by God. Malachi will either be present in the new creation, or he won’t. You will rise and be judged, though. All fall short of God’s standard of perfection–all but God Himself, which is why the Son came to this earth as one of us. It’s why He lived a perfect life (a life you could not live), so that He could die as a perfect sacrifice (to pay completely a penalty you could not pay eternally). And that is why He rose from the dead, because He had paid it all, death could not hold Him. Death cannot hold you if your trust is all and only in the shed blood of Jesus. But if it’s not, then Death already has you. You are held morally responsible by God because you bear His image. You are not just an animal.

It will be a hard thing to get used to not having Malachi around. I think that’s what makes me so sad. I’ve really enjoyed his presence for the last almost three years. But life goes on, and we’ll get used to life without a cat now. So there’s the transition.

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1 Comment »

  1. I’m very sorry for the loss of your friend-our pets are truly a part of our families. While not quite as “spiritual”, I find the poem “The Rainbow Bridge” to be a comfort-if you feel up to it, you should check it out.

    Comment by Lisa — March 16, 2011 @ 12:24 AM | Reply


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