Thursday, June 25, 2015

Golden Retriever

8" x 10" oil on linen panel

Loved having lunch with a special girlfriend the other day!  After catching up on our latest vacays and kid happenings, we got down to the place where our hearts really meet – what God is doing in our lives on a spiritual level.  She mentioned God had called her into a relationship with a friend who was raised in a dysfunctional family and now deals with the issue of being quite territorial and unable to trust in other relationships – even with God.

In contrast, I have another friend (yes, I have more than one!), who was blessed to have an earthly father that always lovingly took care of whatever need or dilemma she faced.  What a beautiful visual she has when trying to grasp who God is.  (He is that, but so much more!)

Well, we all have them – issues, I mean.  None of us were raised by perfect parents, but some of us do have an easier time in relating to God as a strong, loving and reliable heavenly Father because we have had that type of relationship with our own dads, or other role-model.  

This is Gabe, who shared our lives for 13 years. You may snicker or call it blasphemy, but if you have a canine family member living in your home, you will hopefully be able to relate!   Gabe was a near-perfect specimen.   He loved well and still is well-loved.  He even accompanied us on family vacations.  His only “fault”, however, was that he unintentionally adorned our home with a daily dusting of golden retriever fur!  In fact, those whose lives he “touched” always, always left with evidence of having been near him!  

In pondering for months what to write about him, his consistent character (and fur) always rose to the surface.   Within his limitations, he surpassed any human I know – almost always loving, almost always happy to see us and hang with us, almost always up when we were up and compassionate when we were down – and yes, even kinda protective.  In case you didn’t catch the repetition, he was ALMOST ALWAYS those things.  

Let it be known that God cannot adequately be compared to any other being.  But, blessed are those who have earthly reminders of who He is and the relationship He desires to have with each of us.   His faithfulness is always unending; His love always unconditional; His forgiveness always available!  

And those who call Him Savior and spend time with Him always bear His evidence!

“The Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, 
slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness,
maintaining love to thousands,
 and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.” 
Exodus 34:6