When I walk my elderly dog, I often think of the parallel of my relationship with God. I wonder, does my beloved friend feel forsaken when I’m away at work? Does he blame my faltering omnipotence when my tardiness reduces him to the shame of unloading an unbearably full bladder on the forbidden rug? When his deadened hearing and failing eyesight lose track of my footsteps, does he feel lost even though I am still right beside him, silently grateful for his companionship? In his bursts of joyful energy, if he runs right off an unseen curb and stumbles, does he feel betrayed even though I am scrambling to keep apace with his exuberance for life? Or, when he feels my hand scratching his ears and he melts into slack jawed bliss, does any of that matter? Is it maybe enough that the best I ever could do was cherish him?
How can I tell him that there isn’t anything I wouldn’t give so that, when his life light dims and fades, he won’t have to wonder where I have gone, that all the while I will be hugging him with the total force of my being, in a pool of grief, wondering how to bear a world unleavened by his devotional heart?
It’s not that different, really.