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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The powerful force of love

Have you ever been touched or changed by the powerful force of love?

If you have, you will crave that force on a daily basis. Unfortunately, most of us are creatures of habit and work driven individuals that rarely take time to look at what love is doing in our lives. I've spent the last five days contemplating the accomplishments of one tiny spark of love.

Our family pet, Sammy - a bichon was a huge part of our family. No one really talked about his contribution to the family we just knew we loved him. My dad wrote a blog about Sammy in November of 2008

Last Wednesday Sammy had an accident and although he survived, on Friday we had to put him to sleep. In an instant the entire family was forced to look at the great contribution Sammy made to our lives. He was a smart dog, but that paled in comparison to his psychology license.

My daughter was recovering from a painful divorce and since her ex wouldn't allow dogs, she decided to purchase a dog. She wanted a different breed and color than other pets we had owned. When puppies were displayed, the breeds and color she wanted seemed to walk away from her. One little white ball of fur jumped, played and cuddled with her as if he were a long lost friend. Amie continued to shop around for a month, but that little face kept her coming back to see if he was still around. It was a miracle that he wasn't purchased and stayed around for so long. Finally, Amie's heart melted and she brought him home. Sammy was a constant companion for Amie and was a huge part of helping her heal. "I was hurting so badly. I don't know what I would have done without Sammy. His love gave me hope."

Jamie returned from California and stayed in our basement for a while. His trip was a huge success but in the process he was exhausted from overwork, disappointment and crushing blows. After Amie left for work, Sammy would go to the basement door and scratch to go down and see Jamie. Jamie admits that for hours they would cuddle on the couch as he poured his heart out. Tears splashed down his 6'3 frame as he recalled the love that Sammy gave.

When Amie moved to Florida and lived with three other teachers, she couldn't take Sammy. Ron took over and they became buddies. Sammy would beg for food by sitting on his back legs and putting his front paws together like he was praying. The paws would move up and down as if he were flagging for attention. The closer the food came to his mouth, the faster he pumped his paws. Ron shared cereal, toast and once in a while a glob of peanut butter. Sammy rode in the vet, on the motorcycle and watched from the porch when Ron mowed the grass.

When Ron broke his foot and was stationary for two months, Sammy never left his side. Sammy always met Ron at the door when he came home from work. When Ron was struggling with the changes at work Sammy provided love, attention and much needed stress relief. "He is my buddy and one of the best friends I've ever had."

I loved Sammy but I wasn't sure I was all that affected. I fed him and made sure he was groomed. I let him out and cleaned up when he made a mess. It wasn't until we knew he was dying that my heart literally broke in two. I started paying attention to all the things we did together. The way he would sit with me when I ate breakfast alone. The way he looked at me when I was crying. The way he curled up on the floor and patiently waited for me to finish something I was writing before I let him out. The way he would lay his head on my shoulder when he was sick or hurting. And, the way he protected me and barked at strangers when Ron wasn't home. Suddenly the house was much too quiet. I missed his presence and the clinking of dog tags when he walked.

Isn't that the horrible truth about love? You never really know how much it means to you until it's no longer around. Sammy changed our lives with the powerful force of love.

But....the power of love is that it moves without being seen or felt. It's more like a stealth than a helicopter. The most powerful love in the world can blow in on a whisper and be gone before you even realize what's happened.

Jesus dying on the cross was a massive image that none of us will forget. But think about the real power of his love. It doesn't strike like lightening. His love circles around us and brings comfort and warmth like a summer breeze. His love tickles our senses and sends refreshing fresh air into our lungs. He tweaks our brains ever so slightly just so we can catch a glimpse of his will.

To really appreciate the powerful force of love I think we need to shut up, be quiet and listen. Stop today and take a look around you at the people that inhabit your life. Watch their eyes and listen to the soft sounds of love. You just might find a new reason to smile.

God loves you,


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