“The Lord GOD said: ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suited to him.’ So the Lord GOD formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of the air, and he brought them to the man. … but none proved to be a helper suited to the man” … (Genesis 2:18-19a, 20b).

27th Sunday in OT. Cycle B-2021. 4 October 2021. Genesis 2:18-24 + Hebrews 2:9-11 + Mark 10:2-16

I am Annie E.S.A.
ESA is not my degree, but my pedigree.
I am an “Emotional Support Animal.”
Some want me to be a dog, a fowl, even a snake.
Others want me to feel furry, feathery, even scaly.

I am Annie E.S.A.
Healing is my instinct, not my skill,
For I have neither training nor intellect.
‘Though I’m not your medical specialist,
I am found in many special lists.

I am Annie E.S.A.
Flailing emotions seek in me solace;
Troubled relations seek in me cushion;
Feeble minds seek in me booster; and
Trauma-disordered seek in me just me.

I am Annie E.S.A.
I am not a medicine,
With which physicians treat illness.
But I am a therapy,
With which psychiatrists soothe stress.

I am Annie E.S.A.
Some say I can boost weaknesses;
Others say I just boost narcissists.
‘Though pundits debate whether I heal at all.
My touch, even my time, is placebo, at least.

God made Mannie H.S.P.
“Holistic Support Person,” suited more than me,
To give lonely humans the needed company, and
To give distressed humans the needed comfort.

I know, Mannie H.S.P.
You are trained to do talk therapy, unlike me.
But I talk not back to, or about, my human patients.
Touch and time therapy, though, I give more than you do,
I look at no condition; I ask for no condition.

You are Mannie, H.S.P.
When emotion distress turns mental illness,
No-skill therapy shifts to specialist treatment.
When human intellect supplants animal instinct,
You may not be there for the ill all the time.

I am Annie E.S.A.
Your spouse cannot be there to hug you;
Your mother cannot be here to hold you;
Your doctor is not in to see you;
But, Annie is E.S.A. anytime anywhere for you. VSS

Picture credit: Top–E.S.A.: Dog. from Petstofly.com; Cat, from thehappycatsite.com; Crocodile, from Wild Florida; Turkey, from BBC; and ESA badge, from workingservicedog.com. Bottom–Mannie HSP: Trio, from jacksonville420doctor.com; Holding hands, from life-insight.com; Counseling, from newportacademy.com; Mind treatment pills, from Psychiatry Pharma.