Monday, June 11, 2012

Being Social - Canine Style

You've heard the phrase "Life's a Beach." Honestly, what does this really mean? I have no idea. I like the beach, but I don't find life to be squishing sand between my toes and waves lapping my ankles. Life isn't really anything like that. Meeting friends at the beach - now that's fun, and a lot more like life. I mean, you meet friends around in life, wherever you live. This past weekend, I was fortunate enough to stop in and see my friend Jean (hi Jean!), who happens to live at the beach for part of the year. Her dog Shiloh is the handsome Collie on the far right. At the beach, Shiloh is the official greeter-dog to humans and dogs alike. Isn't that a great picture? Peace and harmony in dog-dom. Of course, that's not always the case. Sometimes there's an anti-social human and an anti-social dog (like one of mine, ahem) that drop in to the beach, and harmony is disrupted. Being social is not easy for everyone. People, like dogs, are afraid of being hurt, and prefer to keep others at a safe distance both physically and emotionally. In other words, making friends is a risky proposition. Life and relationships can leave us feeling broken. However, we don't need to be paralyzed and limited in life due to past hurts. Confessing our hearts and deep pain honestly to the Lord is a safe place to be. God understands, heals, and reinstates our relationship with him through faith in Jesus. When we avail ourselves of forgiveness, we can be made whole again. That's not an immediate process, but often it leads to healthier relationships in the future. And even our pain can be redeemed. Don't let fear keep you from life. Take the steps to get you to the beach.

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