Love and a Lab Named Levi

I grew up going to church every Sunday and memorized lots of scripture. Who would think Levi, my daughter’s Lab, would refresh my understanding of God’s love for me? Here they are a few years ago–Katie and Levi.

We kept him over the weekend. He stayed at my heels, and sat under my desk while I worked. He’s so sweet, but he missed Katie and wouldn’t eat.

“Levi, please eat.” I held the bowl near his face. “Yummy. Don’t you want some?”

Years ago, I worked for a vet. I knew the rule. If a dog doesn’t eat, take the food away. He’ll eat when he’s hungry. 

Looking into his chocolate-brown eyes, I just couldn’t do it. I decided to try another method.

Unconditional love.

I sat down beside him on the kitchen floor. Petted him. Talked to him. “If I stay down here with you, will you eat?”

No matter how he responded, I’d still love him.

He looked at me. But I miss Katie.

Love flooded me. “I know you do, buddy. And I won’t leave you. I promise. Come on. You can do it.”

Slowly, he put his face near the bowl, sniffed his food, and began eating. 🙂

“Oh, you’re such a good boy! I’m so proud of you.” He smiled at me and finished all his food.

Putting his empty bowl away, I sensed the Still Small Voice.

That’s how I love youGod seemed to say.

My love isn’t measured by how well you perform. 

Nothing you do or don’t do will change my love for you.

Swallowing the lump in my throat, I hugged Levi. Thank you, sweet boy!

God loves me. He loves us. He really, really loves us! He’s a gentle Master.