My pet rabbits Empress and Bandit
‘And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honour and glory and might forever and ever!”’ (Rev 5:13).
Every creature! Wow! Not only will we ourselves be healed, restored, and lost in the ecstasy of contemplating God and the Lamb, but every creature in heaven and on earth, and under the earth, and in the sea will join us.
We shall be healed, and all the sad, abused, dumbly suffering animals of all history will be healed with us. We shall ask their forgiveness. And since they are more generous than we are, we shall receive it.
We will stand together, and sing together.
I have loved animals all my life, and always has as many of them as my family would permit. A couple of years ago we had 9 pets (I live on an acre and a half in deep country, in Garsington, Oxfordshire)–rabbits, ducks, chickens, and a dog.
But decades of pet ownership do not leave one guilt free. There is always the dog we could have walked more; the loving dog we had to give away when we left America; the rabbit who died of myxomatosis; the duck mauled by the fox on the one night we forget to put her in her shed; the hen eaten by the fox on the one night we forgot to lock the coop.
From my dogs in particular, I have repeatedly sought forgiveness, because they return to me in dreams. My heaven will not be quite complete without dogs, so I was relieved to come across this passage via Charlie, Vicar of Kea Church in Cornwall (what a wonderful name for a church!) on whether there will be animals in heaven.