Word for Week 1: PRAISE

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Psalm 148 is all about praise.  It goes through a very long list of “things” that are told to praise the Lord.  The list includes the sun and the moon, the heavens, men and women, old people and children, oh and “small creatures.”

So, does that mean kittens?  The little black kitten in this picture belongs to my daughter.  Her name (the kitten’s name) is Beatrice.  I call her “Little B.”  We got this little B, this little sweetie, for my daughter on her birthday.  It was sort of a rough year for her and among the sad things that happened is her cat died a few weeks before her birthday.  We actually got her two kittens and sadly, one of them disappeared about a week after we got her.

What about old dogs?  Are they supposed to praise God as well? The old dog to the left of the flowers and kitten is my son’s dog, Capri.  She is a 16 year old Belgian Malinois who has outlived her breeds life expectancy by 4-5 years.  We believe she has lived so long partially because of her time with Junie, her best friend who was a Large Munsterlander. Junie sadly died just a few days after Grace’s cat Macey died.

Now before you get to sad and stop reading or start wondering how all these sad pet deaths have anything to do with praise, look at the picture again of Capri and Beatrice. These two are very unlikely companions.  They don’t exactly like each other, but they tolerate each other.  Capri doesn’t feel like playing, and that’s all Little B wants to do.  I am no mind reader of animals, and wouldn’t really want to be.  But I do know that Capri was different after Junie, her best friend died.  Beatrice wandered around looking for her sister for days after she disappeared.  Now the two are stuck with each other.

The night I took this picture I watched the two interact.  While B played with the flower Capri just lay quietly and watched her.  They have sort of become friends.  I have even seen B sleeping on the same blanket with Capri a time or two! This is how pets, or “small animals” praise.  They move forward through life’s ups and downs doing what they were created to do.  The little kitten plays and is a cute nuisance and the old dog watches is a grumpy protector.

Also in the picture is a wooden Nativity.  I don’t know how many times the kitten knocked it on the floor and startled the old dog before we finally put it out of her reach.  I’m glad I got the picture of this scene.  We all thought it was funny that Beatrice was in a similar pose to Mary and Capri was watching it all.  We laughed and I said they were both part of the nativity and had come to see the Newborn King along with the cattle and the sheep and the shepherds.  This was our live Nativity, lol!

This is what praise from the small creatures looks like.  The definition above says praise is the expression of approval or admiration.  The kitten plays, the dog watches.  They live their days doing what they were created to do.

How do you praise the Newborn King?  We also are part of the live Nativity.

As we wrap up Christmas and move into the New Year, maybe praise means moving through the ups and downs of life doing what we were created to do. Creation is pretty amazing.  I’m thinking praise means to enjoy being created and this is how we express our admiration and approval of all the blessings of this journey called life.

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