The imagery of the poem “Footprints in the sand”, by MaryStevenson, has always played out vividly in my mind...
When I read this poem, I can almost feel the spray of sea water on my face and the sand under my feet as I walk beside my Father and share the hills and valleys of my life. I stop to admire the gentle footprints which depict my journey and I watch, in awe, as my own footprints disappear during the darker times of my life. But there is something missing ...
Don't get me wrong, the poem is beautifully written. But had I written the poem myself, I would most probably, have added another set of footprints – I would have added the little indentations of my God-given canine companions. I can't imagine my world without them. Their smaller, gentler footprints would be there - assisting the Father when things got tough. I regard my DOGS as His angels on earth. For me, “Footprints in the sand” has always included four extra footprints.
A clear example of what I am saying was played out during my “Maxdog”journey. (2000-2010) God gave me Max – an earthly angel – to assist with my healing process. He knew how to connect with me in a way which spoke deep into my heart…God taught me of the wonders of His love through my special Max. It was a time, when I was being ‘carried’ on that figurative beach with the single footprints, but also a time when God showed His love to me through the gift of my beautiful dog.
How often we overlook the joy, comfort and tender devotion of our animals - especially at the times when we are at our most distraught. They are always present; ever- willing and ready for whatever we bring to them. To me, they will always be God’s special angels on this planet – to reach out to us when our own species has possibly failed us, but also to teach us about the joys and beauty of this life. They provide the message - there is hope for this world...DOG’s exuberance for life is contagious. Their ability to keep things simple is their very nature. They bury the past and appreciate the present.
So is their ability to ‘live in the moment’, to offer friendship, to welcome guests, to be thankful for food and provision and good health. They show us how to relish the opportunity of sharing time with others, to play, to sleep, to rest….the list goes on and on. DOG is an example to us all!
Best of all; the time that they spend with us is totally unconditional – exactly like the love of God. They are aware of, but immune to our frustration and anger, and choose to celebrate every glorious moment.
In many ways they mimic the ways of the Father who has created them. It is hardly ironic that the name given to them, i.e” D-O-G”, is a mirror image of the name we give our Heavenly Father.
It is three years since Max crossed the rainbow bridge. His memory lives on and his life continues to teach me and to touch others. Nowadays, I am blessed with my current pack of beautiful canine companions - Tammy, Toby and little Lexi. Every day I look at them and realise how blessed I am. I am reminded of the great love of my Heavenly Father...and I am thankful.
May your life also be touched by your animals - deeply.