Saturday, October 26, 2013

Lucky, the Prodigal dog

I can hear one of the dogs barking, way down the hill by the creek in the lower 2 acres.   I just know which one it is, it is Lucky.  We have a house full of animals, including our two Dachshunds, Lucky and Bo-Bo,  and our lives are filled with the joy of the different personalities of these little four-legged blessings, and I always know which one is misbehaving!!  

Our Lucky is a “party animal”, a very adventurous sort.   He
has never found something he didn’t like to chase, eat,  sniff, lick or bark at.   Bo-Bo on the other hand, enjoys a few minutes of barking and chasing but then prefers to spend his time curled up beside my desk or close by on the couch.  He asserts his position every day as an "INSIDE DOG” who barks at outside noises, as opposed to Lucky who loves his “personal” freedom, freedom to roam and investigate,  who barks OUTSIDE at all noises!.   They are both dachshunds and it would seem they would have similar personality types, but they don’t.

It may sound funny but animals, more than people, often bring to mind and help me to understand  stories that I have read in the Bible, stories of how problems were addressed in those days centuries ago compared with how we in this age address them.  I suppose it is because dogs are more logical and consistent than people!!   

In that light, I like to compare my doggies to the boys described in Jesus’ story of the “prodigal son” (Luke 15:11-32), and they help me to understand more about that story, and about the dogs.    In the Bible account, the younger son in a family, apparently stretching for his own personal freedom and desire to experience the “outside world”, asked his dad for his portion of any inheritance and he then moved on down the road. He went to a far country to live, apparently thinking that being separated from the family would free him to roam and to enjoy a life of freedom. That would be my Lucky.  “Give me some bacon treats and I am out of here to go down the hill, get into the brambles, get covered with mud, chase that herd of deer and a wild turkey, get a few sticks caught in my hair, maybe a tick or two… really living!!! “   

His brother Bo-Bo, is like the older brother in
the story who stayed home with his father and faithfully served him during the years of his brother’s absence.  Bo-Bo never goes far, he’s always faithful and stays very close.

Now in the Bible story, you may recall that the younger son soon ran out of money, was forced to herd swine and eat the food the swine ate.   He soon decided to return home, even though he would be returning in disgrace.  He came home humbly, tail between his legs, so to speak.  To his surprise, his father met him in the way, rejoicing and warmly welcoming him, clothed him with best garments and prepared a welcome home party. 

The older son was very hurt and disappointed.    He had
remained faithful all along and now the “party animal” was not being punished, but treated royally by his father.  My Bo-Bo is the same way. He jealously runs over and jumps up on me when Lucky returns home as if to say, “Pet Me, Pet Me,  I have faithfully stayed at home and been your good doggie.  Can’t you see that Lucky was a bad doggie?“ 

I love both of these little guys, one for his free spirit and adventurous, unlimited nature; the other for his faithfulness and for his obedience, staying by my side. Reading that story as told by Jesus, I can see how each of the individuals felt.  But as a father myself, I also understand that love eventually cuts through the fear, negativity, jealousy, criticism, hurt feelings and provides the balm that heals.   We love because it is the inherent nature of God's creation to reflect Love. 

I have talked to a number of fathers who have been disappointed by their children. BUT, almost every one, no matter that their sons or daughters might have acted thoughtlessly, or selfishly, abandoned home or family values,  perhaps having taken a pathway that was hurtful or disappointing to the family, those same fathers are eager to forgive.   They have shared just how warmly they would receive and forgive those errant offspring, give them unbounded love and affection, accept them as “brand new”.   I also know many of children, young adults,  who have been the “party animals”, have separated from the family and have “gone to a far country” to live, so to speak, for any number of reasons.   I understand and have heard clearly from them how they long for that love and comfort of family, how they want to return to that feeling of belonging, acceptance and forgiveness.

Jesus told that story of the prodigal son for a reason.  He was really sharing how God, characterized in the Bible as Love, Mind and Truth, our Father, awaits the return of His loved ideas, their awakening to their inseparability from their spiritual source.  No matter how deep into the “far country” they may have wandered, their pathway home is at hand.

In life, in our relationship to God, a collective name for the Creator, the infinite Mind in whom we live, and move and have our being as certain of your own prophets have said, For we are also His offspring.” (Acts 17:28), there is no distinction between those who stay home and those who may wander and then eventually come home, because in Truth, we can never really be separated from God, Spirit, who is our Life.   

The lesson I have learned is that both Father/Mother God and son/daughter, long to be together in that place back home, in divine Consciousness, secure in Love’s embrace and are ready to forgive and be forgiven, for such is the nature of Love.

May all of life’s prodigals and ever faithful children understand that God, Love is never ending, and receive and rejoice in understanding God as their patient, true, forgiving Father/Mother, and receive the blessing of love and peace.

Thanks Lucky and Bo-Bo for the lessons in Love and Forgiveness we have shared. I love you both.


Melissa Hayden said...

Love this. Nice to know that there is room for variety in man's best friend. And it's great that you care for them all! Woof.

Patrick Collins said...

Thanks Melissa!! I learn from dogs and cats!! Also, when raising Pekin ducks I could see and love their various personalities. I think it is a result of looking more closely at each of God's offspring and seeing the intelligence and life therein. Quack if you love God's creatures!!! {:-))

Amy Carnes Hoey said...

I love this, Pat!! God definitely gave you the gift of creating and communicating with the written word!!! Thank you for sharing!! Love, Amy

Melanie Jones said...

Just timeless. So helpful for me right now! Thank you!