Dakota, our thirteen year golden retriever, is filled with absolute love for Meg and me; we often comment how we wish we could love the Lord with the same desire that he has for us. However, he is showing signs of his age. I worry about the loss his death will create in my life. So, as he and I were walking up our driveway in Tuesday’s afternoon sunlight, I prayed as I watched him moving ahead of me. I prayed that the Lord prepare me for his death, that I focus on thankfulness for life, not on the pain of grief. And I also asked the Lord’s forgiveness for the ways in which I had taken my own parents’ love for granted; not appreciated their many sacrifices for me.
I happened to look up when I finished praying. Above me, high in the sky, a hawk was flying–a relatively unusual event. As it circled, and rocked in an unusual way, sunlight shone intensely off its body and wings. I felt a moment of conscious unconscious, of being there but not there, and an overwhelming knowledge that the Lord is kind, good, and merciful. (Psalm 116:5) And, of course, whereas signs/miracles are wonderful, I am well aware that I must “live by believing and not by seeing.”