Friday, October 07, 2005

Healing With Animals

By Jan Fredericks, M.A., L.P.C.

Animals and people have always shared a special relationship with each other. With the increase of information concerning animals and their ability to heal people psychologically, spiritually and physically, we are becoming more aware of our relationship with all animals in our society.

To understand our culture and how it affects our thinking and values, we need to look at our original relationship with animals. The Creator made all living beings with nefesh chayah, Hebrew for living soul. ( I believe all animals will live eternally.) God gave us dominion over animals, which theologians interpret as being good stewards with compassion. In its context, all life lived in harmony (see Genesis 1:26), and we were made in God's image. All life (human and animal) was also given a plant-based diet (see Genesis 1:29-31a). In Genesis chapter 2:18-19, after God said, “It is not right that the man should be alone,” animals were created. Woman was made as the suitable helper for man and all lived together in harmony.

But, after sin entered the world, the animal/human relationship suffered greatly and has sped on a downward spiral to where we are today. We became desensitized and have failed to restore the harmonious relationship we once had. After the flood, God caused animals to fear man (Genesis 9:2) and Old Testament laws were made to teach compassion for animals. (Article continues.)

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