Last night, we had a stray dog at our back door. In the twelve years we've lived here, that has never happened; a dog just showing up and hanging around like it had lived here forever.
I noticed it when I heard trash cans being jostled around outside late in the evening. Our golden retriever Lucy, the rightful owner of the property, had been laying in the family room but now approached the sliding glass door and let out a low growl. With it being dark outside, I had no idea what was on the other side of said door. I turned on the outside light and held my breath. There standing on the flagstone was the tallest, thinnest, gangliest black lab I'd ever seen. He looked intently in at me and started to bark because, I presume, I wasn't letting him in. Shame on me.
After a few minutes- which probably seemed like an eternity to Lucy because at this point she had worn a hole in the carpet spinning excited circles - the lab just flopped down on the patio, made itself comfortable, and looked up at me as if I was expected to make the next move, because he was here to stay.
Something about his assumption that if he made himself at home we would meet all his needs - even though we didn't know him - made me totally dig this dog. It was as if he was adopting us, whether we liked it or not. Fortunately for us, the relationship only lasted about an hour until he packed up and moved along, hopefully home to his real family and dog dish.
Funny how that dog prodded me to think about my relationship with God. Do I come to Jesus that easily - with the same perfect assurance that if I just flop down and look up, I'll be taken care of ? There was no pretention with this animal - he didn't clean up or dress up or even bring us a present. There was just him, just as he was. And somehow he knew he'd found a safe place.
I thought about that stray canine's eager trust a lot today. I want to be like that with God; assuming He's always there, assuming He always cares about me, assuming He's always ready to take me in and clean me up a bit - because He is. I want to practice being in His presence like a gangly stray dog that wasn't worried one bit if he was perfect or not. He just was.
And that seems like a pretty good way to be.