Last Monday at 9:30 p.m., our little Maltese, Max, died. He collapsed while I was giving him his evening walk. Our hearts ache. It is truly amazing how much love one can lavish upon a dog for over 13 years. He has been a part of our family through good times and bad. One moment he could be found barking ferociously at a big dog in the neighborhood, and the next he would be snuggling up to Madison or Jackson on the couch. Without fail, he would always walk us to the door as we left and he would be standing there as we returned, wagging his tail. Such a big dose of love, understanding, patience, and gentleness could always be found in our little snowball of a dog.
As one esteemed theologian (Mark Brooks) once said, "God gave us dogs to show us the meaning of unconditional love. God gave them a shorter lifespan than we to show us the meaning of loss." As another theologian and esteemed preacher's wife (Pam Mason-Norsworthy) once said,
"All dogs go to heaven. It's in the Presbyterian Book of Order." I'm still trying to find that exact reference!
I figure our love for our pets gives us just a little glimpse into the depth of God's love for us. As our pets have been "adopted" into our families, so too have we been adopted into God's family. And, as I once heard, there is nothing we could do to make God love us more. There is nothing we could do to make God love us less. God's love for God's family is deep and wide and without condition, a reality for which I am eternally grateful.
You will forever be in our hearts, Maxidoodle! May you rest in peace.
See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are.
-1 John 3:1
Prayer for Today
O God, we thank you for our pets for they are a part of our families. May their presence teach us about life, loss, and especially love. Amen.