'At Hello'

Terry Walton


I Was Thinking…

Some of us are dog lovers and some of us are cat lovers…I suppose it is possible that some of us are neither.  I happen to be a dog lover.  We have two Havanese dogs, Caya and Luie.  They bring joy into our lives.

I began to ponder why it is that I love my dogs so much.  I suppose there are many reasons, but one reason is certain…they unconditionally love me and are always glad to see me.  I go for a walk; come home and they greet me like I have been gone for months.  Luie stays near me wherever I go in the house or in the yard.  It is as if he feels it his responsibility to watch over me…as if he is my guardian angel.

Caya and Luie are small dogs…15 pounds and 11 pounds, respectively.  But they are huge in our hearts.  So, here is my question…what is it about pets that make them so important in our lives?

In the popular movie Jerry Maquire, Jerry falls in love with Dorothy.  At the end of the movie, when Jerry expresses his love in a long-winded speech to Dorothy, Dorothy’s reply was the simple phrase, “You had me at hello.”  In many ways that is the way it is with puppies and or dogs that come into our lives.  Their eyes reach out to ours and an immediate bond occurs.  They become that unconditional love that all of us seek.

Is it so difficult to imagine that God loves humanity, us, with an even greater unconditional love?  For some, it does seem a bit difficult to imagine.  We humans have a way, for a host of reasons, layering things between us and God’s unconditional love.  If we experienced abuse as children, then a layer finds its way into our lives that creates a space that says, “We’re undeserving of such love.”  Our earliest sub-conscious beliefs become extraordinarily ‘conditional’From such ‘conditioning’ we become wanderers away from the path of God’s purest form of unconditional love. 

For some, years of therapy can unlock the layers and unconditional love can be a wonderful discovery.  For others, a Damascus Road spiritual experience can knock away the barriers that allow for unconditional love to burst forth.  Sadly, for some, it seems, can stay locked in a prison of conditional love most, if not all, of their lives.

What about us?  Do we know of this unconditional love of God in our lives?  Can we imagine we are loved even more that our most loyal pet?  Or are we stuck in some pattern, that may even be of no fault of our own, that says we are not worthy of such love?  Well, hear me say and see me write…we are worthy.  God loves us unconditionally.

It is grief at its greatest to lose a loved one.  It is equally grief that runs deep to lose a pet…why?  Because in them, we see how love can really be.  Perhaps God knew we would need living examples of Agape unconditional love.

You are loved my friends…I hope you know it to be real.  God had you at ‘hello’.
Always Thinking…

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