Animals in Heaven? See You Later, Katie
This article was originally published as a part of the series titled “Just A Thought”
To her last breath yesterday, unable to walk for months, having gnawed off part of one paw, and incontinent, Katie, our beloved yellow Labrador Retriever, was as sweet-spirited as the day my wife, Patsy, impulsively bought her on sight and brought her home as a puppy.
Will animals be in heaven? Nothing in the Bible prevents animals in heaven, but nothing in the Bible requires it either. This is interesting, because God could have easily made it clear if He had desired to do so. Apparently, He did not so desire. So, either animals will be in heaven or not, and all our speculations, while possibly interesting, are just that—speculations.
This did not stop my literary hero C. S. Lewis from risking a few thoughts in the “Animal Pain” chapter of his book The Problem of Pain. Notwithstanding the Bible’s silence, Lewis pointed out that the argument from silence against animals in heaven is weak, since even the revelation of human immortality came late in the history of Judaism. As Lewis also noted, God does not often attempt to satisfy our intellectual curiosities.
Bottom line: I don’t know if there will be “many” animals in heaven, but if there are “any” animals in heaven, then I believe I will see our sweet Katie again. Until then, I am more than willing to trust in the divine wisdom of a God kind enough to let me know Katie at all.
© 2003 Patrick M. Morley. All rights reserved. This article may be reproduced for any non-commercial use with proper attribution.