They're two very different doggies. Emily is a miniature sausage dog, with a long body and tiny little legs but a very big personality. She is the definition of 'dogged determination' and has the persistence of 100 hungry seagulls. She adores cuddles and attention, and can never be too close to you. Although she's nearly 14, she gallops around the house and patrols the yard like a dog five times her size.
Sookie on the other hand is much more timid. She hides under the bed when she knows you're leaving the house, doesn't like loud noise and much prefers to sit on the bed in the dark than watch Masterchef with the rest of the household. She is intensely interested in the happenings of the street (a rubber neck I believe they're called) and has mastered the art of 'puppy dog eyes'.
When I come home from work, my dogs are waiting faithfully at the gate. They know the sound of my little red car, and when I pull up, their tails begin wagging. And when I get to the gate, every part of their little, furry body is wagging in excited exuberance. Their pink tongues are hanging out of their smiling mouths and they jump at my legs, so happy to see me. They don't judge me, they don't remember the last time I was mad at them, they don't hold anything against me. They simply love.
Although my dogs have completely different temperaments, they are really the same. All they want from me is love, and they repay me with generous outpourings of their loyalty and love. I wouldn't have it any other way.
And that got me thinking. I'm like that. People are like that. All they really want is love. You can see it in their eyes, in their actions, in their responses, in everything they do. Love is the commodity of the world, or so it should be. Without love, people become broken, hopeless and destitute. Love is what heals, love is what creates new life, love is the one thing that we are all searching for and love is the answer for everything.
'If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don't love, I'm nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God's Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain 'Jump' and it jumps, but I don't love, I'm nothing.
'If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere. So no matter what I say, what I believe and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love.
Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn't want what it doesn't have. Love doesn't strut, doesn't have a swelled head, doesn't force itself on others, isn't always 'me first', doesn't fly off the handle, doesn't keep score of the sins of others, doesn't revel when others grovel, takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, puts up with anything, trusts God always, always looks for the best, never looks back, but keeps going to the end.
Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day, praying in tongues will end, understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be cancelled...
But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love. (1 Cor 13 msg)
If this is love, then this is God, because God is love. He is love, and he is about love.
It should always be about love.