What’s in a Moment?

How I wish someone had been nearby to take a picture today! A selfie wouldn’t work – if I could even manage to take a decent one. Actually, the photographer would have had to be invisible and soundless to have caught the moment without disrupting one of the subjects, so I’m left with what I hope will be an unfading picture in my mind.

The afternoon was typical of my writing days. Sandy found me on a dining room chair in the middle of the living room (where the ceiling fan could keep me cool,) my laptop on the portable desk that allows arms and hands to be comfortably lower than other desks while typing. I had tuned Spotify to my instrumental worship playlist, with its music permeating atmosphere and attitude with peace while not distracting my focus.

After more than an hour, I became aware of what my subconscious noted as it happened. Sandy, my faithful dog, had joined me not long after I began typing, settling himself into a peaceful sleep in the sunlight behind me. He placed himself just near enough that I could reach out from time to time – with effort – to stroke him. At the same time, he was far enough away to keep me from something more constant – like resting my foot against him. There he remained until I moved away from the desk.

Why did I so want a picture? Though his aversion to cameras makes photos of Sandy rare treasures, that wasn’t my motive. Rather, it was the experience of the moment I wanted to preserve, a moment of deep-down, to-the-core happiness I encountered in a typical day with my furry companion nearby.

Sandy - snows of 2014
Sandy – snows of 2014

There have been other moments like this, but this was the first time I gave it more than a passing notice. I’ve taken other similar experiences for granted, disregarding how quickly time passes.   Because of many changes, I’m acutely aware of Sandy’s limited time, maybe even measured in months. Tough medical conditions are now working against his 13 ½-year-old body, though he still tries to be the younger version of himself.

Interestingly, that moment this afternoon came with no sadness added. Instead, I was overwhelmed from the inside out with thankfulness that I have Sandy today, and sensed a deep conviction to remain in this thankfulness each day for however many more we have together. By God’s wonderful grace, I refuse to let what could happen tomorrow steal from me today.

I think I’ll let the Lord apply that moment’s lesson to every part of my life.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 NIV …give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.


The Eyes Have It

It was quiet in the house in that early morning hour, and my dog and I were in our regular positions for my prayer and Bible time – I on the couch, and Sandy on the carpeted floor next to me.  As usual, he was facing away from me.  As usual, to pet him required me to reach, barely able to touch the back of his head.  Sometimes, I really want to pet him face-to-face, looking into his beautiful golden-brown eyes while he looks into mine.  This was one of those mornings, and I was a little frustrated that he wouldn’t give me his face.  Then I sensed Holy Spirit giving me the bigger picture.

I have been like Sandy so often with my heavenly Father, Who yields to my will, even as I yield to Sandy’s preferences (most of the time).  What part of my heart does Sandy miss by facing away – even when he is near?  What part of the heart of Jesus do I miss because I look at all that is going on around me, when I could look at His face and into His eyes of love instead?

When I stop focusing on all the distractions, turning instead to focus on His face, everything else fades in importance.  His understanding of all my concerns becomes much clearer to me, simply because I have sought to know Him more.  The more I know Him, the more I know His love.  The more I know His love, the less room there is for fear of any kind (the root of my focus elsewhere), and the more I want to know of His love.  Also, the more I practice facing my Lord when I’m in those quiet times, the more I will seek His face during the remainder of my day.  It’s a wonderful circle!

Ephesians 3:17-19 AMP

17 May Christ through your faith [actually] dwell (settle down, abide, make His permanent home) in your hearts! May you be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love,

18 That you may have the power and be strong to apprehend and grasp with all the saints [God’s devoted people, the experience of that love] what is the breadth and length and height and depth [of it];

19 [That you may really come] to know [practically, through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]; that you may be filled [through all your being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]!

Will I remain content to know Daddy’s love for me only to the extent I now know it?  Sandy feels somewhat trapped in those rare face-to-face encounters with me – wanting nearness, but on his terms.  Is it the same with me and my Lord?  Jesus came to set me free, that I might truly know my God as Abba, Daddy – with all His unending and unconditional love.  Oh, that I will seek His face so that His face of love will be reflected to others wherever I go!

Psalm 27:8  NIV  My heart says of you, “Seek his face!”  Your face, Lord , I will seek.