Just remember...it's never too late to dance.
So go dance, goddammit.
Dear Aunt Matilda,
I read your article "Time to reassess and redirect," in the January Splash! and have a question. Number 8 on your list must have some hidden meaning. I asked several persons about it and they could not understand what "Look into a dog's eyes until you see God staring back at you" means. Would you please explain what this means??
Signed, Steve B.
Thank you for reading the column and for taking the time to write. I am happy to explain what I meant by the "dog's eyes" item on the list.
I was taught as a child that God loves me unconditionally, that He will always protect and comfort me, and that He is always there whenever I call for Him. But it is so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day grind of life and forget about the importance of having God in your life. As I became an adult, I found myself growing further away from God. When I was pregnant with my second child, the doctor told me I had to spend the last four months of my pregnancy in bed. I was frightened and felt completely alone. I lay in the bed and prayed frantically, but found no solace.
About a month before Samantha was born, I was lying in bed next to Goldie, our two-year old Cocker Spaniel. I was sobbing uncontrollably, crying out to God, asking why He had left me all alone. In the middle of one particularly ungrateful tirade, Goldie laid his paw on my stomach and stared at me. This distracted me from my hysteria long enough to return his gaze.
When my sobs subsided, I began to feel something I hadn't felt in years. As Goldie lay there staring at me, I began to feel the presence of God. I had been so petulantly demanding that God bring me comfort that I hadn't stopped to listen and see if He was there. Goldie reminded me that God is with me always. I need only sit quietly and let Him comfort me.
I then realized that God had been with me all along, in the form of a gentle creature whose spirit was far more pure than mine would ever be. Just as I'd been taught about God, Goldie loved me unconditionally. When I was in danger or despair, Goldie protected and comforted me. And no matter what he was doing, Goldie would come running whenever I called. I had only to call, trust that he was coming, and sit quietly until he arrived.
God has an amazing capacity for finding ways to reach us. For me, he used a furry, barking creature that even I could understand.
P.S. To experience seeing God in your own pet, check out those available for adoption at Santa Rosa County Animal Services. You can call (983-4680) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information. To see the pets, go to http://www.co.santarosa. fl.us/animals.