The Eighth Day
Posted April 22, 2015
Dog and God
I didn’t intend to become a person who gushes about her dog. Or worse, a person who gushes about her dog and God. I used to pride myself on being the kind of person who’d smirk when other people gushed about their dogs and God. (Those unfortunate folks being the same ones who brush their dogs’ teeth, make their pets yogurt-and-banana-popsicles, collect coupons for PetSmart’s toy sales, and pay more for their dogs’ haircuts than they do for their own.)
Sentimental freaks, all of them. Until this happened: a week or two after we adopted our now six-month-old labradoodle, my spiritual director told me to “pay careful attention” to my puppy. “I haven’t met a person yet,” she said, “who hasn’t experienced God through her dog.”
Posted April 20, 2015
By Debie Thomas
I'll confess at the start: when I Googled the lectionary readings for this week, and realized I'd have to write an essay about The Good Shepherd, I cringed, turned off my computer, and went for a walk.
If you grew up in the Church, you might carry shepherd baggage, too. Was Psalm 23 the first Psalm you memorized as a child? Did you spend umpteen hours in Sunday School, making sheep out of toothpicks, cotton balls, and Elmer's glue? Did your kids' choir sing "I Just Wanna Be a Sheep, Baaa Baaa," all the way through middle school? Did you spend any time in your church narthex after morning service, staring hungrily at a painting of Jesus wearing flowing robes, an adorable lamb perched on his shoulders, and wonder why God never sweeps down from the heavens to cuddle you?