Thursday, June 28, 2007

Me and My Shadow

Psalm 63:6-8 (New King James Version)
"Because You have been my help, Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice. My soul follows close behind You; Your right hand upholds me. "

I tell anyone looking to get an English Cocker Spaniel that they should only get one if they like a dog to be their shadow. English Cockers (at least my kennel lines) follow you EVERYWHERE. If you get up from the couch, they’ll get up and follow you. If you head to the bathroom, they’ll follow you. In fact, if you close the bathroom door on them, they’ll crouch down and sniff under the door until you open it! You will never find your “Engi” much further than an arms length away at any given time. Your presence is their joy. Your presence is where they find rest, peace, pleasure, and comfort. My old “Champ” dog was like this. He could be in the deepest of sleep at my feet and if I stood up and left the room, somehow he knew my presence had left him and he awoke and sought me out. He was not “insecure”; he just delighted to be with me! He was my shadow for 15 years. My current old girl, Glory, is 14 years old and is essentially blind and mostly deaf now. Yet, even in her present condition, she knows when I am near….or not, and will seek for me if she stretches out her nose and cannot find my leg. I delight in knowing she “needs” me, and it is never a burden to care for her and help guide her and keep her safe throughout the day. She sleeps by my side each night, right where Champ slept before he passed on last year.

This world and this life can often throw so much at us, so many burdens and cares and problems. Psalm 63:7 gives us hope, “Because you have been my help, therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice”. God IS our helper and rest, peace, pleasure, and comfort is available to us in the safety of the shadow of His wings. But, it is our choice to go there, to remain there. How do we do this? The next verse gives us the way, “My soul follows close behind You, Your right hand upholds me.” God doesn’t have a choke collar on us, dragging us behind Him forcing us to follow Him, any more than I had a choke collar on my Champ or Glory forcing them to follow me. My dogs purpose to follow me. Why…because my right hand upholds them. That is, my hand holds good things for them – a pet, hug, care, provision, safety, love. If we truly believed we would find these things in God’s loving presence, in the shadow of His wings, would we purpose to seek Him more earnestly? Would we purpose to follow behind Him more closely? I think we would.

I want to be like an “Engi” to God….receiving His love, resting at His feet, sleeping by His side…and never farther than an arm’s length away.

In Christ and covered in dog hair,

Debbie Owczarzak


Anonymous said...

Ok, you just inspired me to be more patient when my children are constantly at my ankles. Is it ok that I'm commenting on your blog even though I don't have dogs?!?!

Debbie Owczarzak said...

Of course you can comment on my dog blog even when you don't have dogs!! Can I comment on your blog, even though I don't have kids?!?!?!? :-)

Anonymous said...

What wonderful and truthful statements Debbie. You are truly a gifted writer and your love of your dogs is truly a reflection of God's love for us, His creatures. Your blog has been food for thought.

Unknown said...

I was becoming tired of my dog constantly following me. Not tired because it was necessarily a burden on _me_ but tired of worrying if he was lacking in something or had a problem. I've recently read (on the web) that it is common and is more than likely a sign that he sees me as his "pack leader".

To add to the reassurance, this particular blogg of yours has sealed my contentment. What wonderful inspirational words for anyone worried about their own "personal shadows". :) Thank you Debbie !