[And you will go out and frolic]
While our upstairs neighbors have been away, we’ve had the privilege of looking after Charlie. (She’s Doug’s sweet dog). Doug himself, is the type of guy that anyone would be thrilled to have for a neighbor, and we are! He’s shoveled the snow off our steps and brings whatever mail that arrives for us right to our door. (We live in a basement suite, so we share the same mailbox.) He also so kindly and generously brings us food. He’s a fisherman, so let me tell ya, the fishes have been multiplying! We’ve never asked him to do these things, that’s just the type of guy that he is, but it’s no wonder that he’s become a real part of our family. What’s not to like!?
Our sweet canine neighbor, Charlie, is a pleasure as well. She’s a Kelpie, which is an Australian sheep dog. Originally, this breed of dog was bred to herd sheep and cattle. They’re a very bright, hard working and energetic breed, said to be quick eyed and fast learners. Charlie is a beautiful mid sized dog with an easy going and well mannered disposition; this makes her no trouble at all to care for and easy to shower with lots of love. It’s definitely a joy to visit with a neighbor like that!
When we come up the steps in the morning, she’s almost always right there before we even reach the top step, where she happily greets us as we open the door. She loves to play ball which we’ve been doing with her indoors as it’s often too dark and chilly when we make it upstairs to feed and care for her. Nearly every time, though, as we toss the ball, she eventually takes off with it and right out the dog door! She definitely wants us to spend some time outdoors with her, but neither Andrew nor I are too keen on that idea in the black of night. Therefore, we follow her out, retrieve the ball and beckon her back inside.
One night, after playing with her, Andrew decided to get down on the floor beside our furry friend. Charlie snuggled her head into his arm and gave him some licks. As I spoke to her, she’d cock her head to one side and listen, trying to make out what I was saying to her. That’s when I made the mistake of saying to Andrew, “We should take her out tomorrow,” Well, apparently “out” must be a word that she understands. Her eyes lit up and she quickly rose to her feet.
Then she ran towards the kitchen, looking back at us to see if we were coming. When we didn’t follow, she came back into the room, leaping as she did so. She then gave us one quick bark, standing there as if to say, “Out? You said out! Let’s go!” Clearly, this sweet girl wanted to be out and we certainly couldn’t blame her. She just wanted to frolic and play, out where the air was fresh and cool and there was plenty of wide open space.
Suddenly, she had some bounce in her step at the thought of this happening, and I felt sorry the word had been mentioned. It was getting late, and “out” would have to wait until tomorrow. The following day, when we did have the opportunity to put a leash on her, as the door opened wide, she was eager to get a move on.
In Christ Jesus, we gain that exhilarating freedom as well. Though some may view it as restrictions and rules to be followed, nothing could be further from the truth. In Christ, we gain so much more than we ever had from the start, and anything in us that needs to go is simply for the best. One of my absolute favorite verses illustrates this freedom so beautifully and gleefully. I understand this joy first hand myself, so I can attest to its truth. I also know that there is much more frolicking to be had and enjoyed in the days to come as we draw closer to Jesus. There is joy in getting out and walking with the Lord, at present, and in death. For in Christ, the dead shall one day rise to meet their Lord and their God face to face, receiving Heaven as their eternal home.
“But for you who revere [Jesus’] name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in it’s rays. And you will go out and frolic like calves released from their stalls.”