What dogs can teach us about God’s love

GoD and DoG
(© Wendy Francisco)

I look up and I see GoD
I look down and see my DoG
Simple spelling G O D
Same word backward D O G

They would stay with me all day
I’m the one who walks away
But both of them just wait for me
And dance at my return with glee

Both love me no matter what
Divine GoD and canine mutt
I take it hard each time I fail
But GoD forgives, DoG wags his tail

GoD thought up and made the DoG
DoG reflect a part of GoD
In my human frailty
I can’t match their love for me

I look up and I see GoD
I look down and see my DoG
I’ve seen love from both sides now
It’s everywhere, Amen, bow-wow

Wendy Francisco’s wonderful song beautifully demonstrates and affirms my belief in God’s unlimited love. “GoD and DoG” came to me by way of an email from my friend Steve, and has since become one of the most requested songs I have ever performed. The lyrics offer a simple and yet profound message of total, unconditional love. Having had many dogs in my life, this song helped me to better understand the nature of God’s love.

My husband Chris and I had a wonderful ‘pound puppy’ in our family for nearly 15 years. Lily, the wonder dog was our child, our friend, our constant companion, and our conscience. She showed us unconditional love in a way we human beings seem incapable of. If she couldn’t go with us for any reason, she would always be there when we returned, tail wagging, wooo wooing, telling us she missed us and was so happy to see us again.

Lily was the beloved pet of Barbara Bailey Hutchison

Lily was part of the Hutchison family nearly 15 years. Photo courtesy of Barbara Bailey Hutchison.

When I was angry or sad, Lily would put her big, beautiful head in my lap and her soft brown eyes looked up at me, as though she was saying, "It’s going to be okay. I love you, and I’m here for you, and we will get through this together."

I have learned the nature of God’s love through my relationship with our Lily. It’s a blessing to believe that no matter how far we stray, how depressed or angry we may be, God is always there, waiting for us, forgiving us, loving us unconditionally, and saying, “Believe in me. We will get through this together.” (And I do love the image of God and our Lily dancing together with glee!)

Grammy winner and recording artist Barbara Bailey Hutchison is a member of Edgehill United Methodist Church. She writes, paints, sings, and loves animals from her home near Nashville, Tenn.  

Sign up for our newsletter!

umnews-subscriptions
The Rev. Knut Refsdal. Photo by Karl A. Ellingsen

God’s role in times of crisis

Humanity has never found a good explanation for why there is suffering in the world. Why do so many seem to accept that bad answers are better than no answers?
General Church
The Rev. William B. Lawrence.  Photo by H. Jackson/Southern Methodist University.

Possible steps after General Conference delay

A global pandemic has postponed General Conference, but the former Judicial Council president argues there is still work that cannot wait a year.
The Rev. Michael Kurtz. Photo by Robert Louis Kelsey, courtesy of the Western North Carolina Conference.

Loss always comes with separation, divorce

North Carolina pastor prays that separating parties in The United Methodist Church can find renewal and peace in division.