Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Changing Nature of Friendship

Okay, it's not the best picture, but these two little dogs became fast friends while they were boarded recently.
Little Rosie arrived with a dog friend, but the dog friend went home first.  Other dogs have come and gone, and still Rosie is here. 

Then, Oliver came and they were best little buddies.  Their little tails wagged and there was a lot of interested sniffing going on as well. 

Sometimes we are unsettled by friends who come and go in our lives.  The first time I heard the saying, "Friends are in your life for a reason, a season or for life" I was extremely annoyed.  However, it seems to prove out.  Some friendships change due to a geographic move, season of life, or changing interests.  While some transition smoothly, others end with a great deal of pain.

When this type of thing happens, it's important to remember that God never changes.  If we read about the God of Abraham and all the way through the God of Revelation, He is the same, yesterday, today and tomorrow.  He also said, "I will never leave you or forsake you."

We understand the "leave you" part, but the forsaking?  What does that mean?  "To give up or leave entirely."  Oh, that is heart-wrenching, isn't it?  It's just too final.  Yet, it's likely that like me, you've experienced that heart break.  It feels like God has left the building.

Our loves and lives on earth are a shadow of what will last forever.  We know that our broken world is not how things are meant to be. Redemption of pain, vindication of evil are things that our spirits scream for, the lack of which causes despair.  But, the good news is the Good News.  God of the Universe is the powerful vindicator. He is our Healer of broken hearts.

And He won't leave.  Maybe our finite minds can't understand the "why", just as Rosie can not.  But we can understand, to a limited extent, the Who. 

Rosie's owner is coming back.  I tell her, but she doesn't understand.  But when her eyes see, she will believe.

Blessed is he who does not see and yet believes.  No matter how difficult that may be.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Finding Comfort

Franklin loves to groom Emmit.
Before Foster (Foster, the most awesome dog of all time) died, Franklin often licked his head and softly head-bumped him.  When Foster was gone, Tilly didn't tolerate his attention.  In the interest of full disclosure, when I considered adopting another dog, my hope was that Frank would have a new friend too.  And, from the above, you can see that he has.

(I'd also like to point out that cord is from the vacuum cleaner.  You don't see it often, but there it is - proof that every now and then I clean. Don't count on seeing it again anytime soon.)

Emmit has been on the Gold Coast now for five months now.  I rejoiced every day that the weather was miserable, because it was the first winter Emmit spent inside, reclining by the wood burner, with friends all around him.

There are those times when we are left out in the cold too.  We wonder why we've been neglected, stuck to the end of a chain with scarcely a friendly face in sight.  It's easy to look at the evidence and conclude we have been abandoned, forgotten, and the world is without a god.

But that whole time, Frank was in want of someone to comfort.  He experienced multiple rejections (and snaps) from Tilly.  Where was a friendly face who would appreciate him?

Sometimes we are the Frank. Sometimes we are the Emmit. 

Regardless of where and who we've been, it's good to remember that God is there, though invisible, longing to hold us, if we just will run to Him.