Thursday, September 08, 2005

Grace on Four Legs

This is my dog Loozy, a constant source of a gumbo of good emotions: peace, comfort, humor, excitement, and simple joy are served up daily. Yes, sometimes she poops and pees in the house. She tries to kill the cats. A couple of times she jumped through our living room windows. Through the glass.

But amidst it all, she has brought us a lot of happiness.

For instance, yesterday during a particularly acute spell of one of my periodic anxiety/depression attacks I walked into the room where she was napping and my blood pressure dropped like a rock. Endorphins flooded my system, and things were okay with the world again. What's that all about, I wondered. What is it about a dog that can change a man's mood on a dime?

And then I hit on it: dogs are grace on four legs. Pure, unequivocal, unconditional acceptance. They love, love, love, and then come back and love some more. They don't care how much money we make, how well we do our jobs, what the other people at church think of us, whether we have had the oil changed in the car, or whether the world will end tomorrow. As long as we are home, they are happy, and if we pet and play with them, give them a treat, or take them for a walk--well, life doesn't get any better than that for a dog.

I am convinced that dogs are a metaphor for us to learn about the impact that grace can have on another human being. How they are with us is how we are supposed to be with each other. Imagine that--what if everyone you met wagged thier metaphorical tail when you looked them in the eye, and if everyone you knew wanted to jump on you and lick your face when you came through the door? What kind of pure joy would that be?

God, give me the awareness, the strength, the courage, the love and grace to be that for other human beings rather than being so tied up in my own personal meaningless nonsense.

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