What kind of love is this?

A wag of the tail is a message understood in any language

By Jim Allen

We should be forever amazed at these little fury guys we call dogs. They live in the moment. They have no memory of yesterday. They have no plans for tomorrow. Every moment is a new beginning. Any memory of any wrong ever done to them is forgotten in an instant. They forgive and live as though their only mission in life is to bring a smile to the face and love to the heart. They are dogs and a wonderful gift to all.

Yes, I am an animal lover. I appreciate these little guys not for the messes they sometimes make but for who they are on the inside. They have heart. They are a life force for good, bringing comfort and joy and meaning. They have a passion for life and a special gift for winning all who come near. They are forever looking up to learn our ways and follow our lead. They seek to please and obey our commands.

Though they play and sometimes make a mess, they live life to the full. They are dogs and enjoy the moments they can abide in our presence. Just being near and around you and me is all they every really want. Many of us have never known such adoration and love. How is it possible for these little guys to live and move and possess such love for those who watch over and care for them?

Dogs most often communicate without saying a word. We have two Cairn Terriers. Their names are Jack and Emmy. When the doorbell rings they run to the door. Although they cannot say, "Hi how are you...we are so glad you came," they do the next best thing: jump up and down and twist around, wagging their tails as they affectionately greet everyone old and young alike. What kind of love is this?

Dogs also enjoy the simple things in life. They like the occasional hug, long walks, and joyrides. When driving along I put down the back windows and watch for their heads. Sure enough, they pop out the window and sniff the fresh air while enjoying the wind in their face. To a dog, this is the nearest thing to heaven, a moment of pure joy and a high like no other.

When things around the house are quiet, dogs do what they do. They find a place to curl up on a rug and rest. They have no memory of yesterday and no plans for tomorrow. They have no task on their to-do list except to live in the moment and enjoy it perfectly.

I sometimes think God gave us dogs to teach us what's important in life. But, we already know what's important. It's just that we sometimes forget. Dogs, it would seem, were given to "remind us" rather than "teach us" about what's important.

Dogs remind us to love everyone who comes to the front door of our life, like they do. But, not everyone comes with a soft knock. People can be difficult. They can be mean. They can be offensive and even cruel. They rub us the wrong way and we feel the love slipping away. About this trial of faith Hillary McMullen writes,
Scripture is a treasure trove of practical advice about how to interact with people. Sometimes we may feel as though the Bible is distant and unrelated to today's culture, but upon closer inspection, we can see that human nature hasn't really changed. The wisdom that the Word provides is still relevant to our lives (Luke 6:27-28). (Source)
Dogs remind us to enjoy the simple things in life, like they do. We open the windows of our heart to enjoy the fresh breeze of the beauty and wonder of living in the moment. Life is a gift and dogs seem to know it better than we do. They remind us to think on the good things in life (Philippians 4:8).

Dogs remind us to rest from the toils of the day, like they do. Life is hectic and sometimes we forget to take a break. Things get complicated. Things go wrong and we need to get away. But then we remember to take five. We rest in the moment and remember our true purpose in life (Ephesians 2:10). Remembering our gift and purpose, we return to abide in the presence of God much in the same way a dog returns to abide our presence (Psalm 23:2-3; Philippians 4:6-7).

In closing, dogs remind me of a lot of things. They are a gift, always giving and expecting nothing in return. They remind you and me to live in the moment. They remind us to forget yesterday and trust in God for tomorrow. They remind us that every moment is a new beginning, an opportunity to step away from whatever would take our peace and joy. They remind us to forgive and live as though our only mission in life is to bring a smile to a gloomy face and love to a troubled heart.

There is a lot to like about dogs. They are selfless little friends with unwavering loyalty. But, what I like most about dogs is their unconditional love given to them by their true Master (1 John 4:8). Shalom!

Image Credit: Jack and Emmy; Jim Allen

TagsBiblical-Truth  | Personal-Relationships

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Published 10-29-15