Written by: Hermien Van Den Bergh
Article source: JOY! Magazine

“The righteous care for the needs of their animals, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.” – Proverbs 12:10

Early one morning, my son and I went on a prayer walk along the banks of the Limpopo river. At one point I saw Dawid on his knees with his arms lifted high. He was thanking God for something unusual that we had just seen. It was a squirrel, perched on a tree branch, whipping his bushy tail side to side to the exact rhythm of the song of a nearby bird. He was not missing a beat. The tail moved much like a conductor would use his stick to direct a symphony orchestra. This was something so small to see, but for us it was a huge little miracle to inspire and amuse us. God is so good. 

We need to be aware of what is happening
It is tragic that there are so many atrocities happening to animals around the world. I think back on the farm area in South Africa where I grew up. It was customary and considered ‘great fun’ to hunt rabbits at night. I did not think it was wrong when I was a child, but growing up I became horrified by this practice. I sensed the sheer terror of these rabbits when chased by the reckless youth at night. Boys – and sometimes girls too – would hop in off-road vehicles, shine their spotlights, scream and shout in delight, and take their dogs with for the chase. For the rabbits, being chased and often killed is sheer terror. And for what reason? To satisfy the careless lust for fun at the expense of another living creature? How weird to think that humans can enjoy this? And don’t tell me that ‘boys will be boys’. Parents should educate their children to have real and harmless fun.

Our response as Christians
Our world is in such a state of turmoil and every person needs to take stock of their behaviour. As Christians, we should wholeheartedly stop the reign of cruelty on animals. We have to dig deep into the wells of God’s wisdom and compassion and learn how to treat and preserve creation in a way that is lasting and pleasing to Him.

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