All Forms of Life Have Worth

A recent top news story in Houston, TX was that of a sheriff’s deputy who lost his life while attempting to rescue his dog from a canal.  My initial thought as I watched the news coverage was the deputy acted recklessly.  The life of a dog should not have superseded his own, I thought. 

My feelings for animals are ambivalent – I don’t hate them, but I don’t love them either.  While I was passing judgment on this deputy’s actions, John 15:13 crossed my mind:  “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” (NIV).  I tried to shake away the thought.  Surely, animals are not included as friends.  Then, I began to think of Jesus’ instruction in Matthew 6:26: “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they?” (NIV) 

Yes, human life is more valuable than an animal’s life; but that does not negate the fact that an animal’s life has worth.  God cares for them just as He cares for us. Subsequent stories since the deputy’s unfortunate passing tell of the strong bond he and his pet shared.   What initially appeared to be a reckless act became a selfless act for another living being.  I was not surprised to later learn that the deputy was also a devoted family man and compassionate about protecting citizens. 

With the emotional tide in America teetering between apathy and anger, knowing there are still those whose instincts propel them to aid others restores my hope for this country.  Even if that instinct is for an animal.

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