Through the many months since Marley came into my life, a lot have things have changed. For one thing, I let a big dog who loves to lick me (yes, on my face) fall asleep on my chest and paw me in the morning to tell me it's time to wake up. He loves to watch me cook (something I never did before) because he knows he will get some of whatever it is I'm creating (and he never complains about my culinary abilities).
Marley has big brown eyes that look both sad yet content at the same time. He doesn't bite or fight. He must have adopted Ronald Reagan's "Eleventh Commandment" for dogs because he's never met another dog he doesn't like.
I know I won't have Marley in my life forever. Like so many things we love, he will move on. But as I look at this particular Christmas, with so much hatred and sadness in the world, I know one thing. I'll always have the picture of me asleep in my bed, my arms around Marley as he, too, is sleeping, and his giant paws wrapped around his "baby," one of the many toys he carries around all day.
Life doesn't have to be so cruel. And sometimes God sends us something to remind us that we are all his creatures and that we are all loved. My prayer for all of my readers this Christmas is that you, too, will receive a little gift from God that reminds us of his love and our ability to enjoy it.