How my puppy taught me about Love

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[a shameless photo of my beloved Honey-bun]
Recently, late at night, I was sitting out in my courtyard watching a beautiful fire burning away in our fire pit, flames licking up through the rich eucalyptus wood, and warming my skin as I snuggled with my four month old Vizsla puppy, Honey. Without conscious thought, I leaned toward her and with all the tenderness that my heart was feeling, whispered into her ear: I love you Honey, I love you so much, you are so precious to me. 

As I sat there in that moment, my heart bursting with affection and delight toward this little pup lying against my chest, I had a moment of clarity where I realised that this is exactly how God feels toward me, and though I may not be aware of it, he is constantly leaning in and whispering into my ear: I love you Rose, I love you so much, you are so precious to me. More than that, I realised that God is simultaneously whispering His declaration of love into the ear of every single person that exists in this moment.

Reflecting on this I thought back over the first few weeks of Honey’s life as she entered into our home: when we introduced her to her crate she would howl for 20 minutes straight every time we put her in there (to the point that our neighbour complained), she wakes us up multiple times a night to go to the toilet, she has pooped in our lounge room not once, not twice, but three times, and because she is in her teething stage, Honey has tried to chew our hands, our clothes, our shoes, our furniture, our books and pretty much anything she can wrap her little mouth around. And despite all this my heart burns with love for this little creature. I see how affectionate she is, how timid she is, how much she desires to please us, how much she relies on us for her survival. Honey has won my heart completely, in fact if I am really honest, before we even picked her up from the breeder’s farm I already loved her, and there is not a bone in my body that regrets choosing her to be a part of my family.

So it is for God when He looks at us human beings, these creatures of His creation that He made out of the burning love in His heart. Even before he created us and brought us into existence He loved us with and overwhelming love and there is nothing that we can do to diminish His love for us or make Him turn away from us. Even when we reject Him, when we choose to live life without Him in mind, when we try to love Him but fail miserably, when we fall abysmally short of loving our fellow human beings… in our brokenness, in our shame, and in our messiness, God’s love for us never fails. He continues to lean in and whisper into YOUR ear: I love you, you are so precious to me. If you want proof of this love just look to Jesus Christ. His life and death are a testament to how much God loves and delights in you. You are everything to Him, and for as long as you live He will never stop leaning in and whispering his declaration of love over you. Will you listen and accept his love?

 

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