Saturday, April 28, 2007
Why God has chosen animals to teach me some of my most important spiritual lessons, I have no idea. Perhaps it's because they don't talk. There are no words to interfere with what they SHOW ME. I was petting my cats tonight and thinking about the dogs and a scripture came to mind. Not the EXACT wording, but the thought, and then I looked it up on Bible Gateway. "There is no guile in their mouths." (This was the thought that came to my mind, which is not the actual scripture, mind you.) Guile, is defined as duplicity- contradictory doubleness of thought, speech or action. John 1:47 says, " When Jesus saw Nathaniel approaching, he said of him, "Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false (guile). In Isaiah, Jesus is described in Chapter 53, verse 9 as " He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was there any deceit (guile) in his mouth." Jesus did not say one thing when he meant another. What an amazing quality- how many of us can say that of ourselves? Not me, that's for sure. But one of the things I respect and love MOST about my animals is that they have no guile in their mouths. They might eat poop or roll in dead things, but they will NEVER "say" one thing when they mean another. If they are happy, they exude HAPPY. If they are scared, they exude FEAR. If they are angry with another dog, they show it, take care of the problem, and get on to other things. If they don't want to be pet because they are hurt (sometimes the first clue that someone is not feeling well), they walk away or shy away from your hand. They always tell the truth. They are not duplicitous. How many of us see someone that we despise, and yet we smile and say hello anyway? How many times do we not feel like speaking but we pick up the phone and "fake" a conversation? Now, I am not condoning being RUDE, but just saying that too often we say things we really really don't mean. We are doing one thing and saying another, or thinking one thing and doing another. If Jesus wanted to tell someone they were wrong, like the woman at the well, he didn't coat his real words with lies. He told them what the problem was, and then lovingly told them how to solve the problem. He didn't walk into the temple and say, " Well I'm not sure, but I don't think this is how you should use my Father's house. " Jesus was a man of few words unless he was preaching to the masses, so I find it interesting that he commented on Nathaniel's lack of guile. He must have found it a rare quality or an important one, to comment on Nathaniel's quality of truthfulness. When we get a new dog, they are often terrified or sad, and there is no question about that. The picture above is of Rocco, our newest surrender. He was very afraid and sad for the first week he was here and it was VERY EVIDENT. He followed me from room to room and shook violently when left alone. He was so sad and didn't know who his new owner was and he SHOWED confusion, fear, and sadness. Now, he is totally in love with our family and me in particular, and his happiness is VERY EVIDENT- he wags his tail, lays his head on your shoulder, and licks your face with such enthusiasm. God used him to remind me today that I should do what I say, say what I mean, keep my mouth shut if I am mad, (until I have prayed about the right thing to say) and let no guile be in my mouth. I think Jesus would approve of the lesson that I was reminded of today. I hope I will practice it as diligently as my animals do.