I’m blessed to have the constant company of my beautiful Alaskan husky, Laya. I met her about two years ago and we have been hanging out ever since. With her, I’ve learned an awful lot, and I’d like to share some of these insights and deepening questions.
First things first. How would I describe her to you? I could give you a list of physical traits (she does have an incredibly cute face) but that’s not really her. One, some other dog might somehow possess those same characteristics, and two, it’s really sort of limiting to say that’s who she is. When I first met her, her tail was all ratty because other dogs had been chewing on it and ripping out the long black hairs. But was she somehow less, because she didn’t have all her tail fur? No! So, she’s got to be more than that. So how do I describe her? Well, she’s incredibly mellow, but with just the right balance of energy and playfulness. She’s truly devoted to my wife and I. And maybe our cats 🙂 She is loyal. She makes you smile from about the moment you meet her. She’s pretty well-behaved (we’re working on a few things!). She’s patient.
Another thing I’m really grateful for is the opportunity she’s provided for me of character education. One example always stands out. I take her everywhere with me, and once I was driving home after what I felt was an unsuccessful day, and I was pretty frustrated. Nothing terrible was going on, but I hadn’t accomplished what I’d wanted to, and I was just driving along feeling pretty sorry for myself. Then I take a look over at this sweet dog and she’s just looking at me with those brown eyes and I realize, here is someone who is responding to every single attitude I express and probably every single thought I have. Do I want to fill her day up with my frustrations? Even if she can’t know exactly what’s going on, she’ll probably eventually have to deal with my frustration one way or another. And that isn’t fair. I need to hold the right thought and not let my issues transmit to her.
Now, regardless of the actual “truth” regarding the mental relationships between a dog and owner, all I can tell you is that from that day forth, I have been striving so much more dedicatedly to always keep a calm, clear, loving thought, because that’s all I want her to know. And what a joy it’s been!
At this point, you may be wondering why I wrote this for a blog about my relationship with God. Yes yes, you may say, your dog is great, but this isn’t a dog whisperer site.
The reason I wanted to share these insights is because I believe they reflect some intrinsic truths about the relationship we have with God. God knows us as His ideas, never separated by shape, political philosophy, education, or religion. We are eternally held in His loving arms and always met with His angels. When thinking of us, His ideas, He always sees us as reflections of Him and expressing His qualities. Healing unfolds when we drop our limited perspective of identification and see as He sees. Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer and founder of Christian Science, writes in her textbook Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, “Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals. In this perfect man the Savior saw God’s own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick.” (page 476, line 32) The VIEW healed the sick, because the only thing that was “sick” was one’s own conception (view) of their identity as God’s perfect idea. So, just like I’m learning to see Laya as her essential qualities, rather than her coat color or size, God ALWAYS sees us as His pure, spiritual ideas.
And how will I relate the second example? The idea that always comes to mind whenever I think of that experience is that God, good, only EVER knows good, love, completeness, joy – all His qualities and aspects – and so, as His beloved child, I truly can’t know, or be affected by a belief in, anything that He does not know. God always knows Himself, and as His expression, I can only know Him as well. This is such a rock for me to cling to, that I only ever need to turn to my Father for information about a situation or state of being. I don’t need to check my wallet to find out how secure I am, I don’t need to look in the mirror to see how fit or healthy I am, and I don’t need to look to school records to see how intelligent or capable I am. I can always listen to God, and the answers are always exactly what I need (even if they’re not what I expect).
I’m truly grateful for this companionship with Laya – I know that the lessons learned have impacted my human relationships and have helped clarify my understanding of my true, spiritual relationship with God. Do you have some experiences or friendships that have demonstrated or clarified your own relationship with God?