I love “projects,” and always have since I was little. It all started with a crop duster dad who loved animals, and dedicated time not to just to his pets but also to teaching me about them. How to hold them, how to show them affection, how to read their expressions, how to doctor them. My childhood was filled with helpful tips and tricks to make catching and domesticating even the wildest of critters possible — a Steve Irwin of his own kind, with a heart that couldn’t say no and a love towards those creatures the Lord gave to us that I couldn’t begin to comprehend until I was much older.
Now, as an adult, I find myself constantly bringing home strays, rescuing lost and orphaned babies of all species, and attempting to doctor and save even those which are most unlikely to recover. My track record so far, for 2019?
- 2 bottle baby calves
- 2 adopted stray cats, which turned into —->
- 11 fostered kittens
- 2 juvenile, 1 infant chipmunks
- 1 calf with a broken leg
- 2 baby birds
- 1 cross-beak rooster
- 2 more foster kittens (currently)
I simply cannot say no! I will spend hundreds of dollars and countless hours trying to love a critter which I will end up rehoming or releasing, or which I know cannot recover and will lead to heartbreak. Tonight, doctoring my two newest kittens (ridden with eye and respiratory infections and nearly starved to death when I found them) it hit me — I love to love.
All of the sudden I was overwhelmed with this realization that God gave me a heart which needs to give love. When He gave us this Earth and every creature on it to reign over (Genesis 1:28), he molded my heart with a tenderness and passion for those creatures, knowing I would walk a path dedicated to reigning over them with a love I cold not withhold. I love to love, because God crafted me to do so. I love my “projects” so greatly, because they fulfill a portion of what my divine purpose here is. What a beautiful thing it is to realize a calling that God has placed on your life, and for that calling to be such a fulfilling one.
Here’s the thing, however: sometimes, this calling is hard. Sometimes loving this much hurts me more than it fulfills me, and sometimes the only reward is heartbreak. Visiting with God tonight, he helped me understand not just that this was my calling, but what I needed to do to be good at it. When there are days that the chores stack up endlessly, when there are too many messes to clean up, when I lose sleep for feedings and doctoring, when all my hard work means nothing and an animal passes away… when I give so much love that I have no more to give, that is when I need to receive love.
When I pour myself out until there is no more, I need to be refilled and renewed and restrengthened with love — and where else can one receive an unending supply of love than through Jesus? When I have given too much, when I have loved too hard, when my heart has been broken, I can fall back into God’s love and mercy and grace and be revitalized. You see, God never runs out of love, his well cannot run dry and he can know no end. This is what I draw on when I each the end of my rope.
I love each and every critter God has given to us with uncontainable love. I cannot stop trying, no matter how bad the outcome may be. I encourage you to take another look at the calling God has put on your life, with different lenses and perspectives. Pray about it, have conversation about it. God put this passion in you for a reason! To teach you something, to use you for something great, to teach others something with you!
You see, my actions and my passion are just a reflection of God. I do his works through loving animals, and at the end of the day the bottom line is my calling is to love like Jesus does… and I bet if you look hard enough, in one way or another thats your calling too.