I clearly remember the moment I first  took responsibility for the earth.

It was the day I found big Red. He was a mangy male on the plus side of the scale, lots of ginger hair with some facial scars that belied his kick-back personality.

When I found Red, wandering, I drug him home with me, his forelegs hanging over both my arms, his stiff ears brushing the underside of my chin,  his back legs and tail bumping along on the ground behind.

My mom let me keep him, but he was pretty much confined to outside, where he wanted to be anyway, just in case there was a chance to mix it up with the feline cuties flirting in the neighborhood.

To get a sense of Red, you must understand something: He was so large and prowlish that when he was out and about, mothers pulled their small children back inside the house.

I was very, very proud of Red; his homecoming put me in a God-like category.

Genesis 1:26 states rather underwhelmingly that in the amazing and astonishing beginning of the very beginning of us, God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, make them reflecting our nature so they can be responsible … “

And then, in perhaps the greatest omission in world literature, the text goes on to say, “for the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, the cattle, and, yes, earth itself, and every animal that moves on the face of Earth.” In other words, for Red.

The author, seemingly unawares, blithely glosses over the emotional reaction — an unbelievable ellipses! Upon creation of beings like himself, God must have jumped up and down, waved his arms and  hooted! Adam and Eve must have screamed with pure delight. The animals must have jumped into a celebration chorus so raucous and joyful that it forever upstaged any and all imitative, animated, Disney-movie hit tunes!

What? The emotional response to creation was not mentioned? Perhaps, it was shockingly lost in the Hebrew oral tradition, or perhaps Moses thought he couldn’t do it linguistic justice.

But the effect wasn’t lost. According to the record, Adam and Eve jumped right into the forray and started happily naming things. With all the acumen of a Carl Linnaeus they classified the marvelous creatures they were  now wonderfully “responsible” for.

Cool! They acted out the DNA of God. They named, they brought home, they cared for — Red!

To care for the creation, to name it, feed it, pet it and bring it home with us– this is the image of God in us. The image of God is reflected in human responsibility for creatures. The sacred text itself says, God made us like him, so we could be responsible.

And in a damaged world and a broken creation, it is certainly the most God-like thing we can do to find lost creatures and to bring them home and care for them.

Want to be God-like?

Feed the dog.

Bring home a lost  humanoid too.

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