Sometimes, when I come out in the morning, my eyes are bleary. Sometimes, it is sticky or-- all too often this spring, getting ready to rain. But I enjoy the shaping of my heart through my morning ritual, and I blunder on.
I recite the familiar words from the Venite:
and the heights of the hills are God's also.
The sea is God's, for God made it,
and God's hands have molded the dry land.
Come, let us bow down and bend the knee,
and kneel before the Lord our Maker.
And at just that point my Chocolate Lab flops against my feet. Who can be upset or troubled when there's a warm dog sighing and indolently lolling against one's ankles? His worshipful "Love ME!" eyes remind me of how needy I am before God. I want to revel at the feet of God and be comforted by God's nearness.
I once heard a priest brag about how he had never blessed an animal, and he was proud of that. Okay, whatever-- but how sad that he doesn't understand that he's got it wrong. Our animals bless us even when we refuse to bless them. But "in my Father's house there are many dwelling places"-- and I pray that at least one of them has a dog, some birds, and even a wee mouse in it.