Sunday, April 20, 2008

A Different Kind of Resurrection Dream

I still keep dreaming of Vega. I had my fourth dream about her and it was the most interactive, with a bit of a theological twist.

I'm sitting cross-legged on the ground with some other people I know, but I can't recall them now. It is dim and misty and Vega is around me/us....I can see her as well as sense her in my dream. At times, she comes by me to play and she's off again to absorb attention from someone else. I am conversing with who's there about why she's with us. You see, we all knew she had passed away, but between the joy of having her back and the mild surprise that she was alive again, I had an explanation.

As she came by me again to lay on her side and offer up a paw in my direction like she would do when I'd scruff her chest with my hand, I began to explain that she had been resurrected. Somehow, we had all been a part of it, I suppose in some instrumental way- either bringing it on or simply witnessing it. There was a stabbing comfort coming
from this dream but, as such, it is confined to my subconscious, not easily summoned (if at all) and dulled by any theological reality of the spiritual life (if any) of the domesticated canine.

And so, amidst the damning awareness that such grief pales in the comparative perspective of those who've lost, say, a husband or a wife or a brother or sister or daughter, I grovel in this diffuse perplexity of the existential destinies of "intelligent" animals created by and related to by their Creator. Why is the Scriptural witness so silent on this matter? Why are we allowed to bond so deeply with another creature for the end result to be existentially null and void? Why can't we know if the creatures for which we've been assigned a certain stewardship over will fall into our arms again in the celebrated newness of the New Heaven and New Earth? Couldn't they partake as well? If God can remember the way our atoms bonded, could he not remember the animals? Is there no return to that Garden in which all creatures cohabitated in pefection?

The density of the human plight in this loss is that we can "know" of our eventual reuniting on the other side of the veil. I will see my Granny again. Papaw will be there, and so on. My love was no less of a love and my stewardship no less faithful in the care I gave Vega. Yet I cannot rest on the assurances of well-wishers who stretch the contextual foundations of the Scriptures that seem to allude to the "salvation" of the animals (in that they partake in the resurrection or the New Heaven and the New Earth). And I cannot stomach the disheartening naysayers who won't fathom of the possibility to begin with. And I am finally discontent with just not knowing.