I have this dog, you see. Well, actually, I am not sure I want to claim him. For now he will just be “My Cat’s Dog”. Sure, we wanted a dog to play with. But we also reasoned that we needed one. You see we live out in the country and there are wild animals that can take over if you don’t have a dog to claim the territory for his own. After the death of my coonhound the coyote’s midnight shrieks began to seem closer and closer to the house and the glowing eyes of hungry opossum were spotted lurking on our front porch, searching in the dark for the cat’s food. Concern over this issue was amplified when my outdoor tabby cat began to go into high anxiety mode. He was acting paranoid, even fearfully batting at the dry cat food in his own bowl. I reasoned that he must have had a traumatic experience and been frightened by a wild animal as he tried to eat out of his bowl. We kept him in the garage and within a few weeks his behavior while in the protected garage environment seemed to get back to normal. So, you see, my cat needed a dog, someone to protect him from varmints. My daughter, Jennifer and I went to a garage sale one morning. Don’t you know, they seem to have everything at those things, even dogs! He looked nice enough. He was a sweet looking golden Lab mix. He barked but soon came to visit us at the edge of his fence, happily receiving petting from Jennifer and I. I found out that the owner wanted to get rid of him. He said he was getting a pony for his granddaughter and needed the dog’s fenced in area for the pony. If I did not take the dog he was going to take him to the pound. It seemed like a good match. After all, Labs are such good dogs, you know. The dog was happily led by Jennifer to the back seat of the car where he rode peacefully to his new home. All seemed well at first, except he would not let my husband and son pet him. Then I noticed that he was becoming standoffish toward me and he snarled at me when I got near the toys I had given him. I figured we would warm up me soon enough. Instead, he got to the place where he would not even let me touch him.
I tried and tried to win him. I gave him soft soothing words, lots of treats from the kitchen and months of time. Instead, I found him rising up the hair on his back and threatening me with villainous growls whenever I tried to get near. I kept hopeful in spite of his treatment toward me. He acted happy around me, as long as I did not get to close. He would hear the house door open or see the car pull up and excitedly run over toward me. I would hope that this time, for once, he would respond to me, after all, he looked so sweet and cute. His tail would happily wag but time after time his cheerful demeanor would fall as soon as he smelled my hand and realized that I was not his beloved Jennifer. Once again he would turn up his nose and walk away in disappointment. All this kindness and what kind of repayment did I get? It began to make me more and more angry. I had saved him from the pound, took care of all his needs and footed the bill for all his expense. Is that the way I should be treated in return? It got me thinking about how God feels about us humans. He is the master who has been abundantly benevolent to us by creating us and giving us our lives. On top of all that, He gave us the world we live in and all that it provides. We are imperfect and have all failed in our relationship with God. Our sin has separated us from Him. Still, He seeks a restoration of our relationship with Him and gives us the resolution to this problem. He did this by sending his Son, Jesus who died and suffered the punishment for the sins of the world. All this was done so that whosoever would believe in Him would not perish in hell but would be restored into a wonderful relationship with Him. But how do we respond to him? Is it with love, hate or indifference like the dog who tolerates the presence of the owner but who will not let him near? If we want to be close to the Lord we can ask Him for forgiveness, read our Bibles, pray, and go to church where we can worship and learn more about Him. Do we? I am not sure if the relationship with “my“loveless dog will ever improve. If it does not he will be fortunate to just remain “My Cat’s Dog”. Regardless, the whole experience gave me a new appreciation for how God might feel about the people who reject or show indifference to Him. I can see a little better why God would decide to reject those who throughout their life continued to reject him.