Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Parable of the Prodigal Dog

A gate accidentally left open is a temptation too great for one of my dogs.  It happened today and Rags took off on one of his great adventures.  I was sweating bullets when I realized that he had slipped out because that dog is faster than greased lightning and it's a futile effort to try to catch him.  When this happens, I just have to wait and hope that he doesn't get hit by a car before he decides to come back home.  An hour or so later he was waiting for me on the front porch and all was well but the incident got me to thinking about my favorite prodigal dog story.


A friend of ours, Augusta Jones, told me a story once about the time that her dog ran away.  I don't remember many of the details of the story but I remember the ending very well.  When her much-loved dog showed back up at her home that night, she was so glad to see him that promptly went into her kitchen and fried him a pork chop!  Whenever I share this story with someone, they inevitably laugh out loud at the ending.  Nothing says, "I love you" to a dog like a freshly fried pork chop!

Like the prodigal son in Luke 15: 20-22 NLT, seeing this dog return home was cause for celebration.  It didn't matter to Augusta where he had gone or what he had done, she's was just overjoyed to have him back.  Augusta didn't have a robe for the dog or ring to put on his paw but she welcomed him home with the same forgiveness that the father welcomed home his prodigal son. She showed her love for him with the very best thing that she had to offer and in this case, it was not some dry dog food or a Milk Bone dog treat but a freshly fried pork chop. 

I'm thankful that our Father welcomes me back with that same enthusiasm when I stray away.  I don 't need a robe and a ring to know that he loves and forgives me but a freshly fried pork chop would be nice.

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