The Beatitudes are glorious promises and blessings given by Our Lord. Yet, even after we encounter them it is easy to leave these treasures from Above “on the shelf of life”. But God desires for them to be precious jewels of our daily spiritual attire, not unused and stored away. I recently experienced this very dilemma, in spite of my deep involvement with the Beatitudes over the past three years. In the midst of a family tragedy my temptation was to just “leave them be”. Yet God greatly convicted me to apply them in this grievous situation.
COCO, was placed in this very pen as a puppy about eleven years ago—only a few months old, she stank to high heaven, and had a broken leg. We took her in, paid vet expenses to mend her leg, and Coco became a treasured member of our family pets.
Then LITTLE BROTHER showed up, another stray, and mix of various breeds, very friendly, active, and who lived ecstatically for his dog bone each day. (sorry I don’t have a picture of him)
CAM, a boxer mix was left in our garage one August day about three years ago, with a terrible mange and mite condition. Once again, we paid the vet expenses to bring him back to health and took him in.
As I opened the gate to enter with my tractor and finishing mower, the dogs shot past me for their periodic escape from “pen life” and disappeared into the expansive woods surrounding our house. Normally within an hour they returned; however, four days later they still were not back. Meanwhile my wife canvassed our community inquiring about them. Then one afternoon we received a call about their whereabouts. I came upon their four badly deteriorated corpses, dumped beside a back road, with evidence that they had been brutally murdered.
This was so hard to accept as we covered them with dirt in the semblance of a burial. Each one had been a stray who had found a home with us, and had received constant love and care. Yet, someone had instantaneously assassinated all four together. What a cruel and merciless person had committed such an act! Grief, anger, and bitterness at once overtook me.
Over the next days, God worked in my heart and the cherished Beatitudes began to take hold of my spirit. My mourning was comforted. We know not what happens with the spirits of our beloved animals in the After-life, but I was assured I would see my four furry friends again one day.
My angry attitude became tempered with mercy, and joined by the forgiveness of peace-making. My selfish pride took a back seat to meekness as I prayed earnestly for the offender and the convicting power of the Holy Spirit to move within and bring that person to Our Lord. If that is the result and I can be a part of it, I am ready.
These Beatitudes avalanched into my heart and applied themselves to each area of spiritual and emotional need, offering relief, release, and a real sense of peace. If the death of our beloved dogs can bring a soul to Christ, it is all worth it.
Oh Lord, let the Beatitudes be Your attitude in me—every single day!