When I first started blogging in 2018, this was one of my first posts. It was before I started adding pictures and scripture references. I am a firm believer in a picture being worth 1,000 words. Some will look through to just see the pictures and if I can get the message in the pictures as well, then we may reach that one person that needs reaching with a message showing kindness.
I was reading back through some of my old post and thought this message was still very relevant, so I have revised it by adding pictures and scripture references. Last month, I lost one of my precious babies, Mimi, and I firmly believe she did have a soul. I could see it in her eyes.
You know that look you try not to show when someone makes a really stupid comment, or maybe they just need to be slapped back into reality for other reasons. You want to do the honors of the reality slap but you reframe due to the kind person that you are so you just walk away shaking your head.
I react this way when I hear people make comments about dogs or animals not having a soul. Hey, they were created first. Okay, so what defines a soul. After much research I found three “definitions”, and I use that term loosely as the soul comes from God and who can ever know the mind of God. So below are the three definitions that I thought described this concept of a soul the best:
- The spiritual immaterial of a human being or animal, regarded as immortal.(immortal meaning not dying but crossing over to God at death)
- The principal of life, feeling, thought and action from those attributes.
- my favorite – The part that consists of mind, character, thought and feeling.
Our soul is what makes us who we are. The ability to analyze a situation, and act on it through our personality or character with compassion. Now that compassion can be either gentle or strong. In scripture, the bible is descriptive in explaining God creating all life and gave it as a gift.
It is important sometimes to understand the original language the scriptures were written in so that you have a better understanding of the words used.
The above verse describes animals having hayyah (life). However, in the Hebrew it also has the word nephesh in combination with hayyah, which is the exact same wording as the description of the soul in the creation of Adam. In other words, though nephesh is only translated as “life” here, the Hebrew speaks of the soul. Animals thus have a nephesh hayyah just like Adam. Marianne Widmalm
Think of the things dogs do for us, not only with their protective abilities but all things. Think of your worst day and your dog comes to you to quietly sit by your side, sometimes with its head in your lap or they pushed under your arm to let you know “I am here”. How about the occasional lick on the face to wash away the tears you shed. Dogs KNOW the feelings of people and are especially tuned into their masters. They laugh with us when we are happy by bouncing around. Picture this, you just get home from work and are greeted with 100% tail wagging, circle turning unconditional love. How about if you trip and fall. You are immediately surrounded to assure all is well. And if you are hurt, they are by your side offering assistance.
Think of the times when this is all reversed, your dog is terrified of the vet or a thunderstorm. Now they are looking to you for love and support and when you give it, it strengthens the bond. Even when dogs are mistreated by their owners, they remain loyal. Dogs reflect God’s love for us. Always there, always protecting (even though we may not see it) and ALWAYS loving. Even when we don’t deserve it.
I saw a video on FB the other day of two dogs, one on the floor and one on the sofa. The one on the sofa had a cookie and as he bit into it, it broke in half. After eating the half in his mouth, with his nose, he pushed the other half over to the dog on the floor. Now I know not all dogs would do this but why would even one? Because of its inner being, the soul.
Think of the times our dogs let us know of dangers heading our way. We understand that the dangers may not be real for us but still the dog sees something they feel is not right and they let us know. How many times has your dog looked at you asking the question “Do you not see this?” Yes, we do. But we know how to handle the wind tossed scary plastic bag that is moving up and down the street. We laugh at them sometimes but they are always in protective mode – some more and some less – because of their love for us. And the more we love them, the more they love us. An ever evolving circle. Kind of like hoe God loves us..
My whole point of this is to remind us (in my opinion) of dogs and all animals having the gift of a soul. Everything that has breath is a creation of God and the soul is a gift given out of love to all living things. All of it reflects God’s love for all of creation.
And to help drive my closing comment – even though I know it is a controversial point – how can any creature who shows love and shows kindness NOT have a soul. Its part of the inner nature of God.