My parents have owned Angie for something like ten years now. They weren’t looking to get another dog; they had just gone for a walk with their two little lap-sized poodles one Sunday morning and were followed home by a black dog whose nose came to their knees. They weren’t sure at first if they were going to keep her, and even called the pound. But the pound didn’t have a place for her, and was actually sad to hear about her escape, since she had just been adopted a day or so before. So, after a day or two of getting to know her, and a couple weeks of the pound not calling with news of the owners wanting their dog back, we adopted her.
She’s the perfect dog. Rarely barks – only softly “woofs” when the mailman comes to the door. She’s gentle, sweet, and quiet. She doesn’t bark to be let in; she scratches the plastic with her front paw. Angie doesn’t even push her bowl around when she gets hungry. In fact, sometimes the only way my parents know she’s hungry is when her stomach growls. She never asks for anything – except for walks.
Angie loves to take walks around the neighborhood. There is nothing as exciting to her as when her leash is pulled off its hook and snapped onto her red collar. In the winter, as coats are put on, she bounds from one person to the next, daring to hope that maybe, just maybe, her favorite pastime is going to happen. On the nights that her treat doesn’t happen, she doesn’t mop or complain; she’ll just watch your every move with those big, pleading, gentle brown eyes of hers. During the winter, when Mom is home and hard at work grading her students’ papers, Angie will, oh every fifteen minutes or so, walk up to Mom and place her long, black-with-now-gray nose on Mom’s knee and just look at her for a minute or two. Silently letting Mom know that she’s hoping. She’s not begging; she’s almost ashamed to ask; she’s mostly hoping. And the moment Mom goes to put her tennis shoes on, oh the joy! Running from one side of the house to the other to see if any of the other family members are coming. Running behind Mom to make sure she’s going in the direction of the wonderful lead.
And I wonder. I wonder if maybe we, when approaching God, shouldn’t be more like Angie. Not constantly barking our demands, or warnings of approaching danger. Not insistently reminding God that He needs to feed us; He’ll remember – BEFORE our stomachs rumble too loudly. But gently, quietly, reverently, knowing full well that He has every right to say “no”, or “not now”; knowing that He’s a very busy guy, being the creator and judge of the universe and all. But still, daring to enter His office with eyes full of hope and ask if maybe, just possibly, He’d be willing to take us for a romp around the neighborhood, or through life. And you know what, when you enter His presence, completely surrendered to His will (because it does so little good to demand your own way anyway), I’m pretty sure His heart melts. Hope, because He created it is a pretty powerful thing.
So enter His presence with big brown eyes full of hope, surrendered to His will, but asking, if maybe, just maybe, His will might include a walk around the neighborhood.