I was a day late for the official opening so I missed the speeches and refreshments. Bummer!
But Manageress Denise at the Animal Rehoming Centre was kind enough to give me a tour nevertheless and what a fine new facility it is! Fair play to the Donegal SPCA staff, volunteers and friends who have set it up and run it day to day.
I was under strict instructions not to bring any sad-eyed creatures home but it was hard to resist the friendly woof of a beautiful retriever or playful bounce of a terrier who obviously just wanted to play ball!
Mind you it probably wouldn’t have been that easy anyway. Most of these animals have been badly treated so new owners and homes have to be carefully vetted.
During the tour the principles of the work were explained, the three ‘r’s as they’re known, Rescue, Rehabilitation and Rehoming. And almost immediately I thought thank you for such a wonderful sermon outline!
Jesus Christ said He came to ‘seek and save what was lost’. He is the divine Saviour Who came and gave His life to save a human race bound and suffering in our own sin. Sometimes we need rescued from others, sometimes from our own worst selves, but we all need saving.
That’s not all. The animals at ARC often need nourishment, grooming, veterinary attention and above all loving care. They need rehabilitated if they’re going to learn to trust humans again.
The New Testament uses terms like ‘justification’ and ‘sanctification’ to describe how God puts things right for His broken creation. Someone is rescued and moves immediately from darkness to light the moment they put their trust in Jesus, but then begins a process. We learn to trust Him daily to help us get things back together. Perhaps slowly for some, we learn to trust God as a good, kind, generous Father Who delights in providing His children’s needs.
In time the work is almost complete, just one thing left, and that is the day those rescued and rehabilitated by grace move to their new home.
Jesus said, ‘In my Father’s house are many dwellings…’ ie there’s room for everyone! He has gone ahead to get things ready and welcome to heavenly glory and comfort and joy all who have found their refuge in Him.
Thank the Lord today for the existence of three ‘r’s, not just for wounded animals, but for broken people! Ourselves included.
You can find more about the ARC (including pics!) on Facebook. Search for : @donegalspcaanimalrehabilitationcentrearc
Further Bible reading: Isaiah 11 gives a tantalising vision of the Lord's coming kingdom including creation restored to peaceful harmony, including animals!