Her silver hair is ruffled by the wind again. She takes her frail hand off the microphone and straightens her hair. Then she places a hand on her knee and slumps into a chair.
“That’s my grandma”, I blurt out to nobody in particular. The woman standing next to me looks me up and down. My brown complexion which is in stark contrast of the pale Caucasian woman is the reason why she’s baffled. The gray bristles in my salt and pepper scruff defies the relationship too.
My grandma is frozen in time in my mind from fifteen years ago. This woman however is a pastor at a church. I’m attending an event called ‘Blessing of the Pets’ at The Church of Good-Shepherd in Tomball, Texas.
Somebody brings a dog to her. She places her palm on the dogs head and mutters a few words. My eyes are transfixed at hers. It doesn’t matter what she’s saying. Her eyes magnified by her glasses are flooded with love for the dog.
I’ve never been to one of these events before. I’m just a volunteer photographer there. I’ve never been inside a church in session (or whatever it is the real expression). I’m not a Christian- I’m not even religious. However there is one language she is speaking that I believe in.
In her heart she’s not blessed a dog, she’s not blessed a cat. If there were a lion or a deer here- she would’ve blessed them too. She has blessed a soul. And I speak soul fluently.
Is it my grandma teaching me a lesson in compassion or a pastor teaching me how to not be speciesist? I don’t know- but I think I’ve learned my lesson for today.
Have we all at the event learned some lesson? The joyous costumes and the cute children are out in numbers. My gaze hidden behind my lens wanders around till I observe a kids face getting licked by a pitbull.
This toddler reaches out to the pitbull with his small arms and wants to be kissed again.
The answer is –Yes others have learned from the pastor as well. The hope that these animals have from being saved from the cruelty that’s meted on them rests with these kids. This boy in a fire-fighter’s hat; This girl with a dog by her side and this one with a dog on his lap. All of them are the only hope these animals have- and not just the pets; All animals.
Amen to that.