Friday, June 19, 2009

Of God and the Dog

The dog is whining more as she grows older. This is disconcerting to me. I do not know what she wants. Her needs are met. She is fed, watered and walked. I offer to give her affection. Still she whines. Sits looking at me with anticipation that I will do whatever it is she is asking.

If you have pets, you know the frustration that this brings. How do we understand our domestic companions when they cannot speak our language?

Wouldn’t it be delightful if we could carry on a conversation with our pets? Would we still like them as much? When we talk to them about our troubles or give them a command, they never talk back. It provides a sense that we are understood. Maybe that’s a false sense but it works for me.

If only my dog would be still. As the whining continues, I think about God’s instruction in Psalm 46:10: “Be still and know that I am God.” Could I possibly be like my dog when I come to God? That I whine and complain, asking for something more when all my needs have already been met? When he patiently waits to hear the sound of my voice? When he longs to meet with me, shower his love and blessing on me and I sit looking at him, whimpering for more?

He wants conversation, companionship and intimacy with us. He wants me to understand that “all I have needed his hand has provided.” *

Imagine, sitting in the arms of the creator of the universe, and he whispers, “You are mine and all that I have is yours.”

Next time I’m tempted to come to God whining like a puppy, I think I’ll take Brennan Manning’s advice** and meditate on Song of Solomon 2:10-13.

I am my beloved’s and his desire is for me. What room is there for whining in that?

*from the hymn "Great Is Thy Faithfulness." Lyrics here.

**from "The Furious Longing of God." p. 25

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