I saw a man “of a certain age” walking his dog today. I was stopped at a particularly long red light, and as I glanced to my right, there they were, on the sidewalk. The man looked somewhat tired, but he and his dog moved quickly, as if at the end of the trek. His face looked worn, rough and wrinkled, though obviously had been handsome as a youth. Probably has had a good life, I figured. A busy one. Maybe he’s retired, since he’s out in the middle of the day with man’s best friend. Maybe his wife is at home, or still employed. Are his children living near, I wondered, or far away? And I thought about how life moves forward quickly, not waiting for any of us to stop and think long about our next step. It just keeps moving. With or without us.
Because I, too, am of a certain age, I became a little uncomfortable with my train of thought.
Maybe, I thought again, he and his dog are happily engaged in life at this moment. Maybe they have been sharing the sweet fellowship of a longtime friendship, which all dog owners count precious. Maybe he is walking quickly to maintain his good health, body, soul, and spirit. Maybe he’s been communing with God as he walks. Many of us do.
But I don’t know him, his life, where he’s been or where he’s going.
What I do know is that there is One who has always known him, even while he was being formed in his mother’s womb. There is one who has known his every thought, every word before he said it. One who has loved him every day of his life, and who has called his name more than once. Who has longed to be known, to be his help in time of trouble, his wisdom and counsellor in every time of trouble, his healer in every time of sickness, his hope in every trouble. His Saviour from everything he needs saving from. His certainty of life eternal.
I hope my dog-walking friend knows that. Knows Him. If he doesn’t, I hope that someone soon introduces them.
But what about those of us who do know? Do we who have known the sweet fellowship of our greatest Lover sometimes walk the earth as if we’ve never heard? As if we have to do life alone, worrying as we walk. This, even though he has said, “Fear not. Take no anxious thought. Keep your mind on me and My loving care and be at peace. And listen to that still small voice in your heart, because I have help to give.”
Isn’t that what walking with our true best friend looks like?
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.” ~ Jesus (John 3:16)
“And behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” ~ Jesus (Matthew 28:18-20)