Judy and I are taking care of Nemo, our grandson’s goldfish, while they’re on vacation. Nemo seems to know me. He swims back and forth when I pass by. I find myself saying hello to Nemo throughout the day. He’s a pretty nice goldfish.
I just read that the term ‘a dog is a man’s best friend’ was first used way back in 1789 by King Frederick of Prussia. He’s claimed to say, “the only, absolute and best friend that a man has, in this selfish world, the only one that will not betray or deny him, is his Dog.” While this may seem a bit shallow, there’s some truth in this. You can come home after having the worst day of your life, having made a complete ass of yourself, and a good dog comes right up and sits down and welcomes you home… only asking for a “pat on the head”. And it seems like they understand ….. communicating with their eyes saying “you are the best person, you give me my food and water, you take me for walks, you pat me on the head, you talk to me…” A good dog even seems wise. You can have a heartfelt talk with a good dog.
Many are familiar with Cardinal Francis Van Thuan who was imprisoned for 13 years in Vietnam… a wonderful holy man who passed away in 2002. His writings were always down to earth and very relatable. He wrote, “often we try to hide our true selves from others. We hide our joys and sorrows, successes and failures, because we are afraid that others might try to aggravate our wounds. It is rare to find someone who understands us perfectly. “No one understands me” is a common complaint.(From “Prayers of Hope” by Cardinal Van Thuan , 2002)
Actually the only person that really knows and understands you and me is the Lord. “O Lord, you have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up. Where can I go from your Spirit? If I ascend into heaven, you are there, if I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, you are there…”(Psalm 139) Cardinal Francis goes on to say “ Lord you know me entirely—you know my sins and my misery not to condemn me, but to have mercy on me and to save me.” (Ibid)
We consistently underestimate the incredible love that God has for each of us… whether we’re doing great or doing terrible. God knows us 100% through and through and loves us and is there for us and will help us. It’s true !!! We need to trust the Lord and just fall into his arms and allow him to care for our every need. Jesus help each of us to do this….now.
So, while it’s great to have a moment with our goldfish “Nemo” or with our dog “Lincoln or Ollie or Champ”, or even with a good and holy friend who know God, it only fully works when we have that moment with Almighty God. He’s waiting for us… not there to criticize and condemn, but to welcome us home. And that is very good news.