Our home is different now, hollow. We lost our beloved dog, Oreo—he made our family better, closer, and more fun. Oreo was the dog our children grew up with; he was merrymaking and frolicky, quirky in the best way. He was my shadow and a comfort to us all for almost 15 years.
I know many reading this have lost their dogs. You, too, know their constant and unconditional love. A love that flows naturally and is uncomplicated. They love us the same even when we neglect their daily walk, feed them late, or leave them behind to take vacations. They show unconditional love, which seems impossible for me to give. They teach us about forgiveness, never being too busy to love, and the power of being there—about loyalty, living in the moment, running and playing, greeting everyone with enthusiasm, and sniffing out new opportunities.
God provides unparalleled love, hope, and support, but He is invisible even if He is more real than anything I know. He calls us to love one another because He knows we need it. We need the physical support we can see. We need to touch and feel comfort.
Dogs do that. Animals do that. And we can do that for one another. There is a lot of pain in this world that cannot be undone. Love softens our sadness. It makes the unbearable bearable. Knowing we are loved is enough. Love is not a duty we have to perform. It isn’t heavy. It is something that flows naturally from the heart of God to the people around us.
Christ’s love compels us to love one another. It flows from the Creator to the created. Knowing the love of God helps us to love better.
Life has a lot of loss, doesn’t it? It is heartbreaking, but it can also be a gift. It makes us appreciate what we had and have. It helps us to become closer to both the invisible and visible around us. God is love and helps us to love one another by sending us messengers. Animals are messengers. Job 12: 7-10 says, But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature ad breath of all mankind.”
Thank you, God, for showing me how to love better through little O dog, a tiny but mighty source of love.