Abby, our dog, has been at it again: stimulating theological reflection so that a “dog” experience raises a “God” question!
We seem to have a family of bunnies who invade our yard at each dusk and dawn, and Abby seems to be their friend. She watches them, crawls up close to them, and wags her tail. She never barks or threatens them. It is sheer cuteness. Abby also loves children. She apparently sees them as “human puppies” and she is ever so gentle with and protective of them.
However, last week I observed her in a real “disconnect” moment. The summer camp kids were led to the church office on a day Abby was in the office with me. She knows the kids by sight, and yell and smell, of course, but this time, as the kids walked thru the halls, Abby sat down with what I swear to you was a confused look on her face. The kids were all made up to look like bunnies (with floppy ears, make-up whiskers, etc.). She knew they weren’t bunnies but they kind of looked like them – and in the end, she wasn’t sure what they really were!
And then I had the “lightbulb moment.” I wonder if this is how God sees us when we profess to be one thing but live in a way that is totally other. We may call ourselves Christians but hardly ever worship, never open our hearts (or wallets) to those in need, feel at ease telling a racist or sexist joke because, well, everyone does it, feel quite comfortable with repeating gossip without discerning the truth of what we say much less that it may not be our business even if the account were true – and on and on.
How are we seen by the One we call our Lord and Savior when the words of our mouths, the desires of our hearts, the actions of our bodies are in total disconnect from the definitions of our faith profession? Children appearing to be something other than what they are is a wonderful “pretend” game. Christians living as something other than what they ought to be is hardly a game and is neither wonderful nor cute. I have a plaque in my office that reads: “I wonder if we ever give God a headache?” Well, if not a headache, are there moments of sadness for God watching us living in such a disconnected fashion?