Bear Wells. Sir Buffness. The nicknames continue to evolve as we live with a dog we believe to be about as precious as dogs can be. Nobody in our family could have predicted the great love that has developed for this Chihuahua. We have always been about big dogs that break brush, romp with the men, and lie by my husband’s feet as he works in his shop.
Bear Wells defies it all by weighing 6 pounds and preferring human laps to sleep on. Rather than hunting trips he chooses outings in the family car where he can put on his serious car face and plaster his wet noise against car windows for a closer look at the outside world.
He has no idea about his own vulnerability. At every sun break he wants to explore outside, run into the bushes, and visit the neighbors. But there are dangers outside. They fly like eagles and prowl like coyotes. No doubt about it: He’s a tasty morsel for the predators that lurk. Rather than confine him to the indoors, we have made a vow to supervise his outings. We keep him in sight and don’t allow him to wander too far so we can quickly grab him if necessary.
It’s the interruptions that occasionally frustrate me. I sometimes don’t want to stop and take Bear outside. He likes to dilly-dally and I’ve got things to do. Yet I cannot be inconsistent as Bear needs to be protected.
God has used this situation to remind me this week of His nature and His desire.
His nature? He is a consistent God. He never sleeps. He never tires. He relishes His job: to nurture and love what He created. The Bible says God is like a shepherd and we like sheep. Defenseless, the sheep are dependent on a smart, diligent shepherd to select the safest trails and remove from the pastures dangerous plants and obstacles. To stay awake when it is dark and stormy. To guard and protect us.
His desire? To continually interact with us and demonstrate His eternal love, no matter our circumstances. He seems unwilling to remove our own freedom and therefore He allows us to struggle and live with danger. He lives to see us grow in strength and inspire others. Yet He continually brings us a new day and new seasons when He can work through events to love on us. When He can speak through Scripture and people to teach, reassure, protect and challenge us.
And because God is on call, to shepherd us, hold our tears, and stay steadfast even though life is never the same one day to the next, so can we practice a shepherding attitude by taking care of those we love to the best of our abilities. We, too, can become shepherds, modeling the growing devotion we carry for our Shepherd.
As for Bear Wells, I’m rather used to the smudgy car windows, his greeting at the door, and big boy attitudes. I don’t want a day to go by without him.