"If you can start the day without caffeine, live without complaining, eat the same food every day and be grateful, relax without a cocktail, and sleep without the aid of a sedative, you are probably the family dog."..
It seems like some subject matter comes to me in batches. I launched this site with a series on failure, then it was boyhood memories. More recently I wrote several items on turning oysters into pearls, followed by a three-part feature on feathers and last week I was on a baseball kick. This week dogs have been on my mind..
What can I say? I love dogs with the same intensity as my affection for children. Whoever originated the saying "man's best friend", really nailed it. My constant companion is a Miniature Rat Terrier named Lucy who is sleeping at my feet as I write this item. My wife Rosanne is sleeping too, but she is in her recliner chair watching television..
I was taken the other day by a story related by Phil Callaway, a noted speaker and best-selling Canadian author. When Phil's father passed away a few years ago, he left the care of his Maltese-Shih Tzu lap dog to his son. Mojo (named after Moses and Jonah) has never taken to Phil with the same affection he had for his dad..
As Phil tells it, when his father was alive, Mojo was his biggest fan, following him around their suite, grinning up at him past crooked teeth and pouncing on his lap. "The two sat by the window happily munching bananas, lost in a one-sided conversation," he recalls. When Alzheimer's reared its ugly head for her master, Mojo remained a constant source of comfort..
One June evening the Callaway family was lounging on their covered deck, watching the sky change color in the west. Mojo was slumped on Mr. Callaway's lap as usual, but once the clouds rattled with thunder, she began to shake..
I'll let Phil take the story from here:.
"It'll be okay," Dad whispered, patting her head reassuringly. But she wouldn't be comforted. "I've got you don't worry," he murmured, massaging her shoulders. But she wouldn't listen. An irrational fear had gripped her tiny body. She trembled. She shook. She panted. And as the clouds tumbled closer and the rain touched down, she leaped from his lap, darted under a wheelbarrow, and refused to come out..
Dad leaned forward. "Don't be silly," he said, shaking his head. "It's gonna be okay.".
"So do you think God feels a little like we do right now, dad?" I suggested. "Trying to comfort frightened creatures who can't understand what's going on? Do you think He's trying to tell us to trust him? That it's gonna be okay?".
I think it was the only time I ever preached to my dad. He looked my way, and a smile pulled at the corners of his eyes. I know for a fact that doubts lingered and the questions remained unanswered. But when the storm ended and the dog hopped back on his lap, the doubts seemed to fade into insignificance..
As he held the dog close, I thought of our Heavenly Father who holds us in His arms amid life's storms, whispering, "Don't be silly, my child. It's gonna be okay!"
Thank you for that Phil.
With acknowledgement to the Presbyterian Record and illustrator Jonny Mendelson