Tuesday, April 15, 2014

New Life


Romans 6:4
We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

Allie was our beloved cat whom my husband, Danny, adopted when his sons, Giovanni and Nicco, were small boys.  They grew up with her as a constant companion, and both had a strong bond of love with this special kitty.





Sadly, we have to put the aging Allie down last year.  Both boys are understandably grieved by this loss.  Giovanni insists that Danny bring her body home from the vet.  The thought of not giving her a decent burial is intolerable for him.

Giovanni calls Nicco, who lives with their mother, and they make plans to get together that evening to build a proper casket for Allie.  They even bring its lid to us so we can write a special farewell and God bless to her before fastening it down for good.



It is pitch dark outside when the boys finish the casket.  Taking the brightest flashlights they can find, they head to the yard to start digging her grave.  The spot they choose is near the place where they had a sandbox when they were little.  The sand is mostly gone, but the ground is soft and easy to work.

As Danny and I join them outside to say good-bye, I realize that the hole Giovanni and Nicco have dug is close to, if not spot on, the area where I planted a few tulips years ago.  It doesn't matter.  They never did well here.  Sprouted, but never bloomed.

The casket is placed into the grave.  The dirt is shoveled on top of it and lovingly patted down.

"I've got to mark it," says Giovanni.  "I know what I'm going to make tonight."

Imagine our surprise and delight when Danny and I look out the window the next morning to find a simple wooden cross commemorating Allie's resting place.  Whether appropriate in the strictest sense of Christian faith, this is what Giovanni's heart told him to do.

A beautiful heart which so adored this beautiful cat . . .

~

Several weeks ago, my granddaughter, Virginia Rose, and I are playing "soccer" out in our back yard.  She is kicking her "Toy Story" ball in every direction imaginable, squealing and laughing when it rolls off the moss and into the leaf mounds which border it.  Of course, I have to retrieve the ball from any number of precarious landings it chooses to take.

Virginia suddenly kicks the ball in the direction of Allie's cross.  Down, down it rolls and tumbles until it bumps up against it.

"Great kick, Virginia!"  I call as I run to get the ball once again.  That's when I see them . . .

Tulips!  Tulips growing on top of Allie's grave!  When the boys dug it, the shovels must have freed the bulbs temporarily, but returned them to the ground when the dirt was put back in place.







New life springing where there was thought to be none.

And, maybe.  Just maybe.  The tulips will bloom this year . . .

~

How has God, through Christ Jesus, made your life new?

Prayer:  Thank You, Father, for the new life springing up everywhere this time of year, reminding us that we, too, are new creatures in Jesus, our Lord.  As we prepare to celebrate Easter, let us ponder the miracle of the resurrection and be comforted knowing that we will one day be raised to eternal life in heaven with You.  Amen.

14 comments:

  1. So precious, Martha. I love the tulip sprouts popping up all over the place. It is so hard to lose a beloved pet. My girlfriend lost her cat (orange like Allie) just yesterday. She's so so sad right now. We do fall in love with our critters.
    Sending love!
    Leah

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Leah!
      Oh, I feel so badly for your friend. It is sad when we lose our pets because they are such an integral part of our families. On a brighter note, I love tulips, too. However, so do the deer which roam the neighborhood. :( We've lost so many blooms to them.
      Love and blessings!

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  2. Touching Martha. I love tulips and I can understand the loss you have described here... I have goosebumps as I type this. Life is perhaps like this. A mixture of joy and tears :)

    Take care :)

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    1. Yes, Privy, life is definitely a mix of joy and tears . . . we can't appreciate the good times as we should if we've never faced adversity. And, goosebumps? Wow! That is such a compliment, my friend. :)
      Love and blessings!

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  3. Martha, yet another heart-felt and heart touching post.

    For Christians there really is life in death--it is in death that we truly become alive. Jesus in His death and resurrection gained victory over death and the grave.

    I'm in a very long "wait" period to see what the Lord really has for me to do. With my mom's passing in 2008 (my dad's passing when I was an infant) and then the passing of dear elderly friends--Charles (Dec. 2013) and Lova (April 2014)--may well lead to a new "day" for me.

    Not at all sure where the Lord is wanting me to do at this point...

    Love and Blessings!

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  4. Yes, Kim, death is nothing to be feared because we know we will be in Jesus' loving arms and in God's amazing presence.
    I will continue to pray for God's direction in your life. He has a plan, and it may be that, at this particular point in your life, that He simply needs you to be still and know that He is and that He will provide.
    Love and blessings!

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  5. I can relate to this...we had a pet dog but due to the myth, the religious beliefs and uncommonsense...she wasn't buried at home. Still regret it. What you did is just wonderful. A befitting gesture.

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    1. Thank you for visiting, Janu!
      Yes, it's sad that countries and religious practices vary and sometimes forbid the burial of a pet on your property. I know that hurts . . . We were fortunate to be able to do this for Allie.
      Love and blessings, dear friend!

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  6. She was a beautiful cat. We are so attached to our pets. I dread the day when I lose one of my dogs. Pets are an important part of family. What a blessing for God to bless that kitty's grave with tulips. I hope they bloom! ♥

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    1. That, she was, Kathy - so beautiful! I've lost so many pets now, that we've decided not to have any more for the time being. Grandchildren are enough! I wish the tulips had bloomed, but they didn't once again. Those that did, in other parts of our yard, were consumed, we're assuming, by deer. Those pesky rascals! :)
      Love and blessings to you!

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  7. OOOO' my heart.
    Beautiful resurrection....in so many ways.
    I adore allie & I also believe animals go to heaven!!

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    1. Thanks so much for coming by, "Chick!" I, too, believe God, who created all, cares for all and certainly we will one day be reunited with our beloved pets.
      Love and blessings!

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  8. Sorry for your loss. Animals are part of the family, and the tulips are a sign.

    http://joycelansky.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you, Joyce. Pets are, indeed, family members, and I still miss little Allie.
      Love and blessings!

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Pray!

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ...