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Wednesday, May 9, 2018

The Dog I’d Like to Have—at Least in Theory

Last All Saints Day I had a new amplification of a revelation I first received in 1980.

This revelation served to bring further definition to “the Lord’s minions.”  In addition to the heavenly realm, the definition expanded to include all earnest exponents of the Way—including a vast number of ordinary humble servants employed in the Lord’s work today. While I rejoiced in this illumination, on second thought it bothered me to think I could so facilely refer to humans as “dogs.”  It can be an extremely pejorative term.  Who, for example, would want to be anybody’s “Lap Dog”?  [(idiomatic, by extension) A person who behaves in a servile manner, such as a sycophantic employee or a fawning love: ass-kisser, sycophant, toady (from Wiktionary).] 

From my understanding, a loving God yearns for us to work in his vineyard; but the last thing he would want is a glue-like gaggle of simpering courtiers “very humbly” groveling in his shadow attempting to patronize and manipulate him while riffing deceptive Iago-like saccharin insinuations from the depths of hell.

In truth, many of us capitulate to the love of our pets for the simple and genuine love and affection they loyally embody.  The Perfect Dog would share with our Perfect God one additional trait—the complete understanding of the human condition.  This would include the awesome and sometimes unpleasant duty to point out that human decisions can be destructive and hurtful to others…..and depressingly often our very selves.  As humans cherish nothing so much as the role of Führer within their ill-defined proprietary spaces; a gentle, suggestive recommendation regarding possible positive behavioral modification can unleash a raging blitzkrieg of rending carnivorous fangs.



Dog’s Virtues
By Billy Graham

Dogs are quick to show their affection. They never pout, they never bear a grudge. They never run away from home when mistreated. They never complain about their food. They never gripe about the way the house is kept. They are chivalrous and courageous, ready to protect their mistress at the risk of their lives. They love children, and no matter how noisy and boisterous they are, the dog loves every minute of it. In fact, a dog is stiff competition for a husband. Perhaps if we husbands imitated a few of our dog’s virtues, life with our family might be more amiable.

Printed in the Atlanta Daily World, May 14, 1988

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