My dog Thistle LOVES people. At the dog park, she often greets people before other dogs.
You may remember that she had a run-in with an electric fence a while back. She still hasn’t gotten completely over it. What a memory! When we walk along that stretch of road, she insists on taking a detour through a neighbor’s property so she doesn’t have to walk past the fence.
Earlier this week, we reached the detour when Thistle saw–are you ready? A PERSON. He was cutting a fallen tree along the side of the road across from the dreaded fence. Thistle didn’t hesitate. Without even glancing at the detour she headed straight for the person. And he stopped what he was doing to love on her. Satisfied with the level of attention, she hopped over a log and was ready to finish our walk. Past the fence.
And I just loved that moment. I John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”
Thistle sees the fence as punishment. I’m sure she’s not clear for what. Sometimes I fear pain or suffering or hardship in part because I know I deserve to be punished. And all too often I’m perfectly clear for what. God’s not out to punish me–my pain is sin-related, not God-related. God just forgives, forgives, forgives and loves, loves, loves.
Next time I’m scared I’m going to try really hard to stop focusing on the fence over here and the detour over there. Instead, I’ll try to focus on Jesus, standing right up there in what I thought was a scary stretch of road, waiting to love on me.