He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young.
I think of this verse as I watch my husband carry Jordan in and out of the house, first thing in the morning and last thing at night. This new routine is causing some back soreness, but we think it’s worth it. This caretaking of our invalid dog is teaching me many lessons.
Saturday morning I had a good cry – a deep sob is more accurate. It had been two days since Jordan had eaten or had drunk water. He would and could not stand. Wyndham and I concurred that we would wait until Monday to decide whether to put him down, but I felt the inevitable was approaching.
I had made him scrambled eggs, meat, and chicken soup – and offered them all to him. He had no interest. Then he surprised me. Saturday night, on a whim, I tried feeding him Ritz crackers with peanut butter on them. Apparently, that hit the spot. He at the whole roll of crackers. Yesterday he had about 4 hamburgers, a chocolate chip cookie (his favorite…and chocolate hasn’t hurt him in his 14 years) and drank a lot of water. Last night he stood up. This morning, I cooked some ground beef (with some mashed sweet potatoes added) and he ate it all from my hand. Then, after being carried outside he stood up, did his business and wagged his tail. It seems he truly is getting better! Whether or not he will fully recover is still unknown, but I’m encouraged.
Meanwhile, I think about the fact that he is our dog. A perfectly wonderful dog mind you; but I do realize he is not quite human. I think about the tender loving care he needs right now and how eager I am to give it. And I am a very imperfect human.
I can’t really begin to grasp the love God extends to me. It floors me to think that I am made in his image….thought of even before I was born (Psalm 139) and that he gathers me in his arms, close to his heart as the scripture above states. Shamefully, I worry about too many things. Next time (likely later tonight) when I’m tempted to worry about something I need to remember how I feel about my dog… remember God’s loving care for me, his sheep. Nothing is too big (or too little) for my God.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.  Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.  Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?  Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?