Earlier this week, our dog, Jack, and I were taking a walk beneath an avenue of trees near the sea front. It was a lovely, just right, sort of day with a blue sky, warm sunshine, squirrels jumping from limb to limb and birds chirping. The lovely day was about to become even sweeter. It was when Jack met Bree.
As Jack ran out into an open field, about to dash around a corner that led to another wooded path, he stopped short. Another dog had come around the corner from the opposite direction. Jack bounded over, I knew, hoping for a game of chase, but the white and brown speckled bird dog stood still. Her owner then came into view and said to me in regard to her dog, “she’s blind.” I learned that Bree is 13, has arthritic hips, and is blind, but she still enjoys her walks. I gazed at her face, noticing the pure white of her unseeing eyes. “She would have loved to play,” said the owner. Just then, something began to take place that brought smiles to both of us.
Jack, who had bounded over in enthusiasm, now walked slowly toward Bree. I could tell she sensed his presence as her nose twitched in the air. Jack went right up to her and sniffed her face. Bree did the same to him. They sniffed each other all over in proper doggie etiquette. Then, in unison, they began to walk together. Bree would sniff at something on the ground or in a bush and Jack would follow, sharing in sniffing pursuits. Every now and again they would put their heads together, smelling each other’s ears and faces. Then neck nuzzles took place. “Your dog is so sweet and gentle,” said Bree’s owner. “Oh look!” she exclaimed in joy, “Bree’s smiling!” Sure enough her mouth was open in a definite smile as Jack poked his nose in her ear. For nearly a mile the two new friends walked slowly, sniffing, nuzzling, and smiling, enjoying each other’s company.
“Jack seems to sense just what she needs,” said Bree’s owner, “accepting her as she is.” Bree’s mother was so happy her dog had a friend, when most dogs just passed her by. I was happy, too. In fact, proud tears sprang to my eyes as I watched my sweet boy giving up his running, choosing instead to spend quality time with this elderly blind dog. That’s when it hit me — our Heavenly Father does the same with us. Compared to God who is perfect in holiness, nothing impossible to Him, we are blind to so many things. We are ever learning, with need to know and understand more each day. Like Bree with her arthritic hips, you and I stumble in life’s walk, making mistakes, unwise choices, going in directions we need not go, but there is our Heavenly Father. He walks with us, leading the way, nuzzling in His love, accepting us as we are in our weakness, offering His strength to guide us along paths that we cannot clearly see.
Like Bree, we can smile in His presence, knowing He is enjoying our company. We may be slow, not as skilled as others, seemingly stumbling over every twig of difficulty, but all is well, our Father is with us, never leaving, always loving, always nudging us in the right direction as He gently reminds us, “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
I’m so pleased Jack met Bree. I’m so thankful there was a time in my life I met Jesus, because I was blind, but now I see.