Chloe, however, is still very much a puppy. She will bring her small football to you to throw over and over, or her old rag to play tug-o-war again and again after she manages to yank it away from you. You will always wear out before she does. She prances and cavorts, romps and darts, and any other word in a thesaurus describing playfulness.
A few weeks ago she started chasing butterflies. We have all sorts our here in the country, black and orange monarchs, yellow and black swallowtails, sapphire blue and black hairstreaks, and the ubiquitous canary yellow sulphurs that flit all over, changing direction almost faster than your eye can follow. Those are Chloe’s favorites to chase, maybe because they are smaller. Some of the swallowtails are nearly as big as her head.
One morning, after Magdi had already left my side, and Chloe was still prancing along, another yellow butterfly flitted into our path. Just as usual, Chloe chased it. And then, when she least expected it, she caught it. The look on her face was shock, then panic as the butterfly evidently kept on flitting inside her mouth. Without hesitation, she opened her mouth and the butterfly flew out, none the worse for wear, and Chloe happily resumed the chase.
I thought then, once again, of Jesus’ admonition to become as little children. Was this yet another way that children are superior to adults, at least in the kingdom? They do not realize that, with their feet firmly planted on the ground, they should not be able to catch something that can fly. They do not know when something is supposed to be impossible. They do not know the meaning of “illogical.” They do not know what science has and has not discovered. How often do we let our maturity in the world rob of us our childhood in the kingdom? How often have I uttered that pessimistic comment, “It’ll never work?” How often do we look at a new Christian, especially one who has come from a difficult background, and say, “He won’t last?” How often do we look at the physical to judge the spiritual--placing our trust in things that look strong and effective on the outside, and never allowing childlike trust to take a chance on God’s power—and why, oh why, do we even consider that “taking a chance?” Why do we refuse to pray for the impossible?
Magdi often plays with Chloe, especially in the cool of the evening, but more often she is content to sit and watch. She keeps a good humor about her most of the time, but sometimes Chloe’s high spirits annoy her. When Chloe is chasing a butterfly, not paying attention to where her romps take her, and she runs right over Magdi, she is often rewarded with a growl, or even a nip. When Magdi actually snorts, it seems for all the world like a grumpy old woman saying, “When will she grow up? She will never catch the thing, and she is always getting in the way and causing me trouble.”
I suppose Magdi doesn’t remember the day she jumped over three feet off the ground and caught a bird on the wing. I mourned the beautiful cardinal, but her form was beautiful, elegant, and to see a dog jump higher off the ground than she is tall and catch a flying bird is amazing. You see, Magdi was a puppy once, too.
Maybe only silly little puppies chase butterflies and birds; but then, only puppies catch them.
Woe to those that…rely on horses, and trust in chariots because they are many, and in horsemen because they are very strong, but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek Jehovah, Isa 31:1.
Jesus, looking upon them said, With men it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God, Mark 10:27.