This post was written by my dear friend, Cameo Watkins. I’m sad to say that I have only been in the same zip code with her once, but she was a heart sister from the very first moment we sat down together. I pray you are as blessed by her wisdom as I am.
Much about our relationship with God can be learned through critters.
Critters. That’s what my Daddy always called animals. In teaching me to take care of animals when I was very young, Daddy always said, “Now be careful. Critters feel, too” or “We take care of our critters, because critters have feelings, too.”
In the last month, I adopted a new critter—a dog who spent her first 6 years churning out pups in a puppy mill. My husband and I drove to the rescue in Kansas, met the sweet critter, brought her home, and christened her forever Lolli-Tailwagger. Lolli as in a lollipop, for I have a thing for foods as my critter-names. Tailwagger; well, that’s self-explanatory. 😉
When we started the long trek home from Kansas, Lolli was terrified. She wasn’t used to lots of contact with people, with car-rides, or collars and leashes. When I put her in the grass at a stop for a potty break, she didn’t know what to do, and fearful of the road-noise nearby (we were at a highway gas station), all she could do was flatten herself to the ground. She would’ve covered her eyes and ears to hide if her little paws could’ve.
Shortly after that, she realized she was in a new place and she HAD to depend on someone. She, out of desperation, climbed into my lap and snuggled a close to me as possible for the remainder of the ride.
I can’t help but see that this is a beautiful allusion of our relationship with God. Things have been bad for us, and all we know is a negative, mistreating world, because we were stuck in a puppy mill. And then when God comes and buys us and rescues us from the Mill, we don’t know what to do or how to act. We’re scared that things are different, even though things are remarkably better. And then, in desperation, we cling to the One who bought us and put us in the car to take us to the New Better Place.
Lolli is pretty frightened of my husband. My husband is nice to critters, so it isn’t his fault. Lolli appears to just be scared of men in general. Jonny is generally only able to pat her on her little head when her little self is securely planted in MY arms. Now that we’ve had her for a month, Lolli is starting to let Jonny pet her some, unaided, when he first wakes up in the morning and steps out of the bedroom. As the day progresses, she forgets how Jonny didn’t hurt her when he patted her little head, and runs when he walks her direction.
Again, aren’t we like critters? God loves us, helps us, gives us love…and then, we get stressed with the day. We forget that God doesn’t kick us, but instead, gives us a loving pat on the head. We run when God comes our way, out of fear of His intentions. All God wanted was to help you up on the couch, since you’re too little to jump up there.
I have high hopes as to what Lolli’s life will be like from now on. She is now in a home where two people and another doggie adore her. She is learning that the world is not so scary, and that there is a lot of love to give and receive.
John 10:11 says “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep.” Psalm 23:1, “The Lord is my shepherd. I am never in need.” (God’s Word translation.)
God takes care of his creation. We can learn so much from critters.