ok, this is going to sound a bit odd, but that’s ok. it’s an extendable metaphor lol
i keep snakes and spiders. these are animals quite unlike dogs and cats that can grow to trust you and have real affection for you. they are animals that are very instinctual, often quite defensive, and really incapable of understanding my point of view. their reaction to me is usually one of fear or apprehension. some, like the spiders, will never (in this natural world) come to trust me. they are not capable mentally of understanding anything other than food, sex, territory, and their offspring. in fact, the word “understanding” is perhaps too strong.
snakes are a bit more complicated. they can learn to think of you as a non-threat. they already know i’m not food (though misunderstandings do occasionally happen LOL), but seeing this big hulking creature that i must appear to be naturally makes them nervous and defensive…until they learn that i’m not a threat. then, i can handle them, check their health, etc. winning a snake’s trust is a massive kick, as they are not really “built” to trust us…they’re designed to hide well or glide swiftly away. gaining the trust of an animal like that is a bit like a glimpse of the new heaven and new earth, where children will play in vipers’ dens with no harm coming to them.
ok so what i’m getting at here is that these are creatures i did not create…they are largely detested (unfairly) by most people…and while they’ll never (in this life) know me and trust me and love me as i do them, i still do my best for them to ensure good, safe, well-fed lives. my reward for this is simply them being happy and healthy…oh and the occasional bout of breeding which gives me a bit of spare cash to put into feeding them.
if i, as a weak and small steward of God’s creation, can love the least of these in this way…regardless of this love being returned…how much more must our Father in Heaven love the poor blind, ignorant creatures that walk the earth and don’t know Him to trust Him or love Him? if i can intend good for my creatures, how much more must He intend good for His?