February 12, 2018

“The spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life. ”- Job 33:4

Have you ever seen the animated movie, “101 Dalmatians”?  There is a scene where one of the 15 puppies born to the Dalmatians, Perdita and Pongo, dies shortly after birth.  The puppy was wrapped in a blanket and handed to Roger, one of the dogs’ owners.  Roger looked at the lifeless puppy and told Pongo, “Oh Pongo, boy.  It’s just one of those things…and yet…And yet I wonder.” At which point he started to massage the puppy and after a few moments the puppy is revived.

A very similar event happened to me several years ago. My cocker spaniel gave birth to a litter of puppies.  One of the puppies was born lifeless.  I picked up the puppy and wrapped it in a blanket to warm it and then I started to massage its body. After a minute or so, I could tell that the puppy was responding.  After a few minutes, the puppy was moving around as much as its siblings and I made sure that it had a chance to eat right away. It thrived and in the end, was just as healthy as the rest of the litter!

That experience was very moving to me.  To be present in that very intimate moment of life and death was a reminder of what a gift it is to each of us. There is a certain fragile nature to life that demonstrates how precious it is.  But at the same time, there is an inherent resilience to it.  Creation almost seems to have a built-in desire to live.

God gave us life but also created within us an almost innate desire to live.  I believe that part of us that instinctively values our own lives is also what helps us to recognize the beauty of all life.  Sometimes it seems we can almost become out of tune and somewhat numb to the beauty of life around us.  I have found that taking a break from all the busyness of life and engaging in nature (whether it be taking a walk or simply looking outdoors) can refresh my spirit.

Make time today to reflect on the unpredictable and resilient gift of life that we’ve given. Let us be reminded of the gift of life, not only that which is given to us, but throughout the world.

Rev. Wendy Lambert, Senior Executive Pastor