I am very touched that so many of you have been responding, verbally or in text, to several of these reflections that involve our quirky rescue border collie, Abby. Now it was never my intention that this “blog” end up as some theological version of Marley and Me. Yet it has been eye opening (or is it rather “soul” opening) to realize how much a pet can teach her human.
We humans are, as St. Paul observed, at best slaves to a law that has left us in need of redemption. We are not the creatures that our loving Creator has always intended us to be. We are always the recipients of love, but not always the dispensers of it. We can be self-absorbed, violent, cruel, unkind, dishonest, unfaithful and on and on and on. As Paul realized in his own life, having a “law” (any moral law, especially God’s “law”) to follow doesn’t do me any good. It just puts down in black and white what I’m doing wrong!
This dog loves unconditionally. Of course she is imperfect. I’ve told you that she can be a conniver, glutton and insists, no matter how much training, that she must bark at every man, woman or child who crosses her path. And still, she loves without condition. She forgives my crankiness when on “down” days when you wonder if what you do here in ministry really matters. She shows you affection when on a return trip from mom, mom didn’t know you.
Love is the fulfillment of law. It is “the greatest commandment.” It is THE commandment Jesus gave: Love one another as I have loved you.
I guess these past months, I have often written about our four legged tornado because she loves. And that is something she is teaching me to do.