When our family returned from Indian Wells late at night a week ago Monday, we couldn’t find our dog, Rhodie. We decided she was with our neighbor caretaker, and went to bed unworried.
The next morning, however, my wife found her in a remote part of our yard lying listlessly on the ground. She was breathing, but wouldn’t respond to any stimulation.
Rhodie is a golden lab, and has been with us around 15 years now. She is dearly loved and has added great joy to the family activity over the years. Suggestions that she may be nearing the end of her time on earth have surfaced in recent weeks as she has slowed down her momentum, so the first thought was, “This may be the time.”
I carried her up to the house and put her on her soft bed on the patio. She was limp, oblivious to my actions, and heavy to carry, but I succeeded in plunking her down in her favorite position. Motionless, she was not even slightly interested in eating or drinking.
Shortly, after walking away, I challenged the aggressive suggestion that she was dying. Yes, she had lived a long time, and yes, if she went, it would be okay. The family was prepared for that transition. I consented. But my Christian Science view of Life rebelled against accepting death under any circumstance.
Life is eternal! I protested. Rhodie is an eternal idea of God that was never born into matter, and will never leave matter, I affirmed.
I decided to improve my understanding of what Rhodie was as an idea of God, instead of buying into the picture of living and dying in matter.
And Christian Science teaches this truth. Christian Science, as Jesus taught also, explains that the physical body, as a shell of mortal mind, is never the sum and substance of anyone, including animals. We, in our true identity, are spiritual beings at-one with our Maker in Spirit.
God’s ideas lived before so-called material existence, and they live forever after it. Life is eternal in Spirit. It is never IN matter.
I caught a clearer glimpse of Rhodie as God’s idea in Mind, and not in matter, than ever before. It brought me great peace.
As a spiritual idea, she was not ill, she was not weak, she was not mortal, she was not dying, and never would die, I agreed. She was living her eternal spiritual life in Mind right now. And that truth would never change.
In a few hours, to the delight of all, Rhodie started to respond to taking in some water, and soon, food. She got up and moved a bit, very clumsily, then more, and soon started roaming the yard as was her customary practice in weeks past. It was a resurrection for the family to witness. Awesome!
Hmmm…I just realized that this all occurred at the beginning of Easter week. How cool…
Rhodie has been her usual self ever since. And everyone is happy about it.
“Never accept death as real and happening, even when it appears a natural thing to occur,” I gained from this experience.
Death is not natural, ever. Death doesn’t happen, ever. Life is the real, and it’s eternal.
When animals and people pass on, they do not die in the process. They continue living in Spirit, which is where they had always lived. This truth, understood, heals. It dispels, to increasing degree, the illusion of death and dying here on earth until we get to the full realization of Life in Spirit, where the suggestion of death doesn’t even occur in the first place. Oh what a glorious day that will be…