She became part of our family in January. Her birthday was the same as my wife’s. She was already nine years old and she didn’t have much of a personality due to the life she had lived until that moment when she reached out for my hand and my wife said, “Let’s take her home.”
The lady who filled out the papers saying that she was ours told us that she had been placed once before but had been brought back because she wasn’t much fun for her new owner. He name was Tessa although her papers listed her as Oak Knoll Hidden Treasure.
We brought her home and she was part of our family for six years. On cold winter mornings, as I settled into my recliner with the morning papers and my cup of coffee, she would come to me and hop up into the chair beside me. After she had given and received her morning affection, she would turn around and go to sleep next to me. Often, she stayed there, sleeping long after I had risen from the chair and started my daily routine.
On sunny summer afternoons, she would lie on the deck watching me while I grilled our evening meal. When I sat to let the meat cook, she would come to me and give and receive affection and go back to her place on the deck, only to rise again and come back for more…or was it just to let me know that she was there and that she loved me?
No one but me and, occasionally, my wife, saw her in the early mornings when I let her out from her nighttime confinement in our laundry room. She would race across the lawn or bound through the snow celebrating an exuberance of life. Those who said she had no personality should have seen her then!
In 2011, I wrote my first Christian novel about a CEO who has his priorities in the wrong places. Through a series of losses, he comes to realize that the greatest Acquisition a man can make in life is faith in God through Jesus Christ. The death of his faithful companion, a dog, is what finally brings him to his knees and he makes that Acquisition.
I wrote the sequel to that book in 2013 and brought Tessa to life as the companion of the main character who is now seeking to learn how to make a Sell out commitment to his faith, those who love him and his job. Earlier this year, I wrote a third novel which describes The Investment that God makes in each of us and His expectations for a return of and on that investment. In this third novel, Tessa is fully invested in her owner at a moment of crisis.
In November, 2015, Tessa died quietly in my arms but lives on in these stories about accepting Christ, selling out to God and those who love us and in being fully invested in and remaining steadfast in our faith in God during times of pain and crisis.
Many people have written about the love of a dog and a dog’s love for man. An unknown author penned “The Rainbow Bridge” (https:www.//rainbowsbridge.com/Poem.htm ) which captures the essence of the hopes of mankind to see their furry friends again in the afterlife.
Many people have also written about God’s love for us. John 3:16 is often quoted as the verse in the Bible that is the essence of the nature of God’s love. The Message paraphrase of the Bible puts it in unmistakable language for today:
This is how much God loved the world:
He gave His Son, His one and only Son.
And this is why:
So that no one need be destroyed;
By believing in Him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.
Sixty seven years ago this fall, I walked down the aisle of a little white framed country church and accepted that love. I knew that I was making a decision that would change my life but I had no idea of how much God loved me and what he would do in my life.
All that I am, all that I have been and all that I hope to be in the years remaining is because of my faith in God through Jesus Christ. That love has brought me through physical, financial, and family related crises. It is matchless.
The love that I shared with our little Sheltie, Tessa, was a love that I cherish. The love that I have experienced from God is love that is unmatched. I hope that you have found that love. If you haven’t, I urge you to accept the promises contained in God’s word and put your trust and faith in God through faith in Jesus Christ.