Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Our Dog


I am a “dog person.” As I grew up my dad raised beagles, and we had 30 to 40 dogs at a time. I have enjoyed dogs as far back as I can remember. However, our family had not had a dog, yet because I have been waiting until our boys were ready to help care for it. We have enough other things to do!
A few months ago, however, we were adopted by a stray. Eventually it won my heart by demonstrating loyalty to us (another story), so I agreed for us to keep her. My boys named her Ann, after the female in Where the Red Fern Grows. She has really endeared herself to us.
A couple of weeks ago I taught a survey of Hosea for our Sunday School. Of course I stressed the book’s message of how God has so graciously cared for and provided for us, but we often fail to acknowledge God’s care turning to idols instead. The book poignantly calls for us to see our great indebtedness to God’s grace. That night as I went out to feed Ann, she convicted me- as odd as that seems. J Ann came to us malnourished and uncared for. It is apparent that she had been beaten and mistreated. At our home she has been well fed (perhaps too much so- like her owner!), loved, petted on, cared for, etc. Her gratitude and devotion is transparent. More than once she has put herself between one of our family members and perceived danger. As I went to feed her that night I was struck by the fact that she ‘gets’ the message of Hosea better than I do. In return for material care and provision she is undyingly faithful and grateful. I, in contrast, in return for the eternal rescue of my soul on top of all sorts of material care, my gratitude and faithfulness wavers so and is so often lackluster. I was humbled by my dog. May I rise to her level gratitude inspiring devotion and service.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

There are so many life illustrations from those dog pens!Sometimes I wonder which is messier those pens or the pews. :)

Scott

Barry J. Maxwell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Barry J. Maxwell said...

Man, I remember all those beagles! A garage full of baseball gear, a great pool and a legion of beagles. I love you guys! Thanks, Ray, for this folksy illustration.

Joel Maners said...

Thanks for the story. Reminds me of the story of Greyfriars Bobby. My parents were touched by the story when they visited Scotland.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greyfriars_Bobby