My wife and oldest daughter left today on a missions trip to El Salvador. They are going to love people and share the gospel in the little city of La Libertad. Its a win-win deal. The people of La Libertad win by hearing the gospel, and my wife, daughter and tripmates going win as they will grow in Christlikeness as they directly obey Jesus' words to make disciples of all nations.
But it doesn't feel like a win right now for my youngest daughter who already misses her mother like crazy. Tonight she came over and put her head on my shoulder, then my lap, tears flowing freely. I put my arm around her gave her a squeeze and said something that was intended to be soothing. It didn't work.
Next thing we both knew, our Chocolate Lab, Gideon, got up and snuggled up close to her, nuzzling her leg to somehow get closer. In distinct Labrador dialect he communicated "I sense your sadness and I just want to be close to you." Drawn by his compassion, my daughter slid down from the couch and he nestled his chin right on her leg. We couldn't resist getting a picture. This wasn't the first time Gideon sensed sadness or pain or sorrow from one of our family members and I marveled at yet another example of our dog's inate sense of compassion.
I've been resisting for a long time blogging about my wonder dog Gideon but today I just can't stand it any longer. Now that I've set a precedent, I'm sure more is to come in future blogs. In the meantime, I got thinking how much I talk about wanting to be more like Christ, maybe I should start by just trying to be more like my dog.