Having pets has changed me…

Time and again I’ve described myself as animal neutral.

Unlike everybody else I know, I’ve simply had no affection for animals. It’s not that I don’t like them – I’m just indifferent.

As a pastor, people share their personal sadnesses with me. Sometimes it’ll be about their pet.

I have sympathy for a person’s sadness – but zero sympathy for their pets. I can’t even begin to enter into what they’re feeling.

But then we got chooks for our boys. And then a few got sick, and died. And I noticed something weird – I felt sad for our pet.

I’ve been wondering what changed and the answer is: responsibility.

Being responsible ties my well-being to those in my care. And just like that I’ve begun to be a better person - and more normal!

If we’re responsible for pets, how much more for the people around us. Not just family and those we already love, but the ‘others’. The people we feel indifferent towards.

You are you brother’s (and sister’s) keeper.

And so am I.

Animals are one thing but we should never be indifferent to another human.

I wonder what it would take to make this sink in.

St Paul’s Anglican Church meets on Sundays at 9am with kids church. All welcome.