Will we see our four-legged friends in heaven?

Maryann Gogniat Eidemiller doesn’t know the answer, but in her On Faith op-ed, she hopes they will be waiting:

I like to think that dogs, cats, and other earthly creatures can be present in the afterlife. I can’t imagine a paradise without the chirping of birds, the song of crickets, the majesty of horses, the soft paws of a beloved cat, and especially the loving eyes of a dog. I’m not saying that every lizard, dinosaur, cow and all animals that ever lived will be present. Rather, I like to think that in heaven, we will be in the company of the animals that had meaning in our lives. They will be in paradise for us because of God’s love for each one of us.

That said, I’m looking forward to being reunited, in whatever way it will be, with a lifetime of many loyal and loving dogs.

Gogniat Eidemiller goes over some of the differing opinions, along with why some Christians so strongly reject animals in heaven, and an exploration of scripture. Her piece also includes this:

Rev. Dr. Kamila Blessing is a semi-retired priest in the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh, and although the question of animals in the afterlife wasn’t raised in her seminary studies, it’s something that she has considered, especially after she had her own spirit-like experience with a beloved cat who made one last visit to her before he “died and went to heaven.”

“There is no basis to say that animals don’t have souls or a place in heaven,” she said. “God reaches people using whatever they have to work with. In John 10, Jesus says that he has other flocks. If you make that analogy with animals, they don’t have anything to work with rationally, but they are not assigned to live on the same level as we are, with our rational ability to choose God. The spirit of God is necessary to make life, and I can’t imagine him throwing away his own creation.”

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