Monday, June 20, 2011

Heavenly Dogs

If you've ever loved a dog, you really should check out this cool video called God and Dog ( I took it off a friend's facebook page (thanks Michelle) and posted it on my own. It features a simple song and simple pictures as it reflects on the connection between God and one's dog. The song ponders how God and dog are alike; the drawings illustrate the same (it is written and performed by Wendy Francisco).

Wendy compares how God loves us to how our dogs love us. Anyone who's ever had a dog knows how they express love - exuberantly, shamelessly, with joy and unwavering constancy. Your dog is always overjoyed to see you again, even if you've only been gone for 30 minutes. Your dog is always ready to go wherever you want to go, do whatever you feel like doing. He just wants to be near you because he delights in your company. Wendy's song reminds us that God's love for us is just as devoted, just as substantial.

She says, of both God and dog, "they would stay with me all day, I'm the one who walks away." The accompanying picture shows her dog looking sad and getting smaller as she, presumably, leaves it. A dog will wait as long as it takes for us to return; so will God. Dogs don't remind us of our faults or withhold their affection until we improve. Neither does God. As Wendy's song says, "I take it hard each time I fail; God forgives, dog wags his tail." Along with these words we see a dog's face looking up with great concern until she pats its head; then it seems to smile.

If you're unhappy or ill, your dog worries and sticks close by (just like God does). Seeing your sadness, your dog will try to get in your lap, snuggle next to you, lick your face - anything to cheer you up. You never have to wonder if you're loved or if you've been forgotten with a dog around. Your dog shows his love every day, all day, by how he looks at you and stays near you. What I like best about Wendy's song "God and Dog" is that it gives us a visual. I don't mean just the pictures (which are neat) or even the mental images her song evokes. Wendy shows us that if we aren't sure how God loves us, if we need an example to understand that idea, we can look to our dogs.

A dog loves us with abandon - in concrete, tangible ways. God loves us in real, substantive ways, too. God heals us when we're ill; God comforts us when we lose. God gives us sunshine and rain, the countryside and the bustle of communal life, food and drink for today, forgiveness for the past, hope for tomorrow. If you need a visual to grasp what it means that God loves you - unconditionally and forever - you can't do much better than looking at your dog. Yeah, God loves you like that.

Pastor Kris

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