“Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.”
1 John 3:18
You may have thought this item was a bib, or a piece of chunky jewelry.
You’d be wrong.
It’s a dog collar.
“You can wear it, Mrs. Lowes. But not until you write your name on it,” the designer informed me as she handed me this wonder of a gift yesterday morning.
“So – I write ‘Mrs. Lowes’ on this part here?” I inquired. (I know by now that these things have unwritten rules and that desecrating a gift of this kind is all too easily done by not understanding its proper function and import.)
You could feel the consternation.
“Well, of course you wouldn’t write your people name,” she explained patiently, like I was a foreigner to all things sacred, and a remarkably slow one at that. “You should write your dog name.”
“My – dog name?” My mind went blank.
The panic was real.
“Yes, your dog name. You know – like what your name will be when you play dogs with us.”
A tiny flickering light of illumination. Now we were getting somewhere.
“You mean like – Fifi?” I asked tentatively.
“Yeah, like Fifi! That works!”
And she was off, the picture of childhood contentment.
I’m wise enough to know when I’m loved. This was a love gift – a true sign of acceptance into the pack. Almost as good as a club insignia, or a team shirt.
It showed thought. Care. Camaraderie. Inclusion, tender regard.
The truth was there, in the golden medallion and vibrant neck – er, strappy thingy.
You and I may not give each other dog collars (I currently have one, so feel free to give me bibs or jewelry in lieu) but we have the daily opportunity to serve others in small ways, from holding a door open to stepping in where we see a need.
I forget that when I’m busy and distracted by all the myriad of dizzying details involved in running a classroom of littles.
I forget that it shows love when I answer patiently. When I smile a morning greeting. When I take the time to demonstrate how to solve a tricky social situation.
You and I have so many opportunities to put our money where our mouths are.
And although nothing says love like a dog collar, our kindness can also speak louder than words…
Show love to others around you with me?
Father, You show Your love daily by Your marvellous gifts. Teach us how to notice needs, and demonstrate love with our actions in concrete ways. Amen.