Embracing God’s Merciful Gentleness.
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Our Golden Retriever, Wrigley, has a very loud bark. He often frightens visitors and walkers with his 85 pounds and guttural “woof”. Wrigley is our second Golden. His predecessor, Sandi, was loved for 14 ½ years. Our family has gotten used to the temperament of the breed.
Goldens are known for their loving nature, soft mouth, intelligence, keen sense of smell, trainability and loyalty. With all of their gentle qualities, they are also instinctively protective, bold and noisy when confronted with an aggressor.
This sporting class dog is often trained for hunting, rescue missions, military operations and human assistance services. The American Kennel Club website (www.akc.org/dog-breeds/golden-retriever/) characterizes Golden Retrievers as intelligent, friendly and devoted. The site also mentions that Goldens are “serious about their work, but also enjoy being downright silly.” Wrigley exhibits most of those qualities, although lately he has gotten himself wrapped around a tree stump in our back yard and starts to whine until someone frees him. He may not be too high on the IQ scale.
As their name suggests, they also “retrieve” things: your shoes, your socks, toys, water fowl, wounded birds, and sometimes even a piece of your lost soul. They are often seen tolerating all kinds of mild abuse, especially from children and babies who tug at their face, ears, and mouth, and who insist on riding them like ponies. Unlike some other canine breeds (or cats), Golden Retrievers are slow to anger, always happy to see you, and give love unconditionally.
Just as we may get the wrong idea regarding the nature of a large loud dog, we sometimes view God as unpredictable, distant and hostile. We often forget that He sent His son, Jesus Christ to us offering endless love, forgiveness and compassion. Like an adoring pet, Christ also longs for us to return to Him daily.
Dear Lord, thank you for giving us our earthly furry companions to daily uplift our spirits and remind us of your goodness. May we always open our hearts and minds to Christ, the gentle giant, who offers daily the gift of His interminable mercy, peace and grace.
“The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.”
Psalm 103:8 English Standard Version
Photo and text copyright Darcia Kunkel