539: Readers Tell Us About … spiritual connections to pets, home, the future


Once again, thanks to readers like you,
we’ve got your feedback to share …

Spiritual Connections with Pets 
Spark Reader Responses Nationwide

We’ve been publishing a series of articles about people and pets. (If you’re just catching up with us, here’s a great starting point: A story about a Los Angeles church launching a regular, weekly pets-and-people worship service.)
    Inspired by these stories, readers are sharing their own experiences —and we welcome that!

Reader Dee wrote about her 2-year-old dog Toby (the dog at right):
    “My husband I have had him since he was a puppy. He is a beautiful English Cocker Spaniel. The first thing in the morning Toby and I go outside for a walk around our neighborhood. That is when I practice being in the moment by looking around at the trees, any wild animals, like birds and squirrels, feel the air, look at the sky, and take in all of God’s creation. As we are walking together, I say some breath prayers such as vowing to look at all living beings with eyes of compassion. … Another breath prayer is for those I know who are suffering in some way. Sometimes I sing a song to Toby, usually a soft song that brings me back to this beautiful spiritual time. Other times I just feel my feet touch the ground and follow my breath as we walk along. It is a sacred time for me and I think for Toby.”

Reader Gail wrote about her love of cats:
    “I have live cats at home, but I also have artistic whimsical
cats in the form of wire sculptures, clay statues, paintings, pottery,
pillows, (and I could go on and on) in every room and in every corner!
In early September my grandsons spent the week at my home, and they
decided to count my cats.” I believe they counted 265 artistic feline
representations. … I sometimes go so far as to tell my husband that I
married him for his last name, which is Katz!!

    “There are special moments in my life every day because of my cats,
and I consider them spiritual.  Curled up on the sofa with a book and a
warm fuzzy feline butting my thigh for attention or nuzzling my arm is
definitely a divine moment. The world seems at peace to me with a cat
at my side. Perhaps that is why my most favorite cat is named Shalom
(or peace) in Hebrew.”

    Got a pet story to share? Email us!

Our Home Sweet Home Stories … 
Also Inspire Readers!

We’ve also been writing a lot about HOME. A great starting point is this introduction to our Home-theme series.

Reader Julia wrote that memories “flashed heartily” from a childhood church and its smells …
    “Putting on my white junior-choir robe in the dank basement robe room. Church
supper green bean casserole. The crispy, new-ink purple hymnals we
got when we became United Methodists instead of old crumbly hymnal
Regular Methodists. Porter’s Orchard cider at the MYF Halloween
party. Dressed-up ladies too perfumed & dads Brylcreemed to a
sheen. Grape juice at communion time. All these are carved deeply in
my olfactory memory, and together they evoke a warm and abiding sense
of the place where I learned, so very young, about what’s important,
real, true and forever

Reader Elaine wrote that we evoked vivid memories of …
    “… my home where I grew up in Minneapolis that always smelled so delicious from my momma’s cooking. My grandmother’s home where I always went when I needed that special ‘grandmother’s love.’
    “Our home where we raised our four children—where time seemed to race by. Our present home filled with wonderful memories—including those
with our grandchildren—where I can give our grandkids that special ‘grandmother’s love.’ And our temple where my husband I have found our ‘spiritual home.’ How lucky I am to have found so many places that I can call home.”

    Got a “home” story to share? Email us!

And, Readers Still Are Talking about …
“The Future of Faith”

An interview with Harvard’s Dr. Harvey Cox about “The Future of Faith” continues to spark reader response …

Reader Al wrote …
    “I love your interview with Cox. He’s writing in the same vein as Phyllis Tickle in ‘The Great Emergence’ and Philip Jenkins in ‘The Next Christendom.’ You can name many more. We’re in a great time of reformation!


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    Not only do we welcome your notes—but our readers enjoy them as well. You can do this
anytime by clicking on the “Comment” links at the end of each story.
You also can Email ReadTheSpirit Editor David Crumm. We’re also reachable on Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, YouTube and other social-networking sites as well.
    (Originally published at https://readthespirit.com/)

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