Forget diamonds, I’d rather have a dog as my best friend, or God, they’re a lot alike.
This morning, bright and early, I received a phone call from my ex-husband telling me that I can have his dog. He’s done with her. The crime? She took two stinky massives on the floor and chewed up his comforter. I knew he wasn’t serious of course, just being dramatic, because this dog, is the sweetest, most loving, loyal dog I’ve ever met, and my ex-husband likes to spout off at the moment. I knew he’d calm down in five minutes. Sure enough, five minutes later I receive a text picturing the mugshot of the criminal in all her shame.
My reply: “Just like humans, the dog makes mistakes, and deserve forgiveness.”
Her name is Desi, and she is keenly aware of when she makes mistakes, or “sins”. I’ve witnessed her hanging her head after eating a My Little Pony. It’s amazing really to witness the humanity of dogs. They feel pain, experience sadness, anxiety, depression, shame, and they love us better than humans. Dogs love you unconditionally, are always by your side, always happy to see you, are always protecting you, as if you are the most precious thing in their world.
I think “God”, or the Universe/ Spirit/Higher Power/Higher Self, whatever name you give this being, loves us as dogs do. Obviously more than, but reminiscent of. A better way to say it:
I think “God” loves us like our dogs do, not the way we’ve been taught.
Dogs don’t see race, sexual orientation, or religious affiliation. They don’t judge you for your mistakes, unfortunately to a fault if their owner is abusive. Dogs know nothing of laws, societal constructs, religious doctrine, sins, social status, success, wealth, etc. To them, none of that matters, we are all washed clean to them and are loved fully, completely, and without any condition.
When Jesus died for the world, this is also how he loved humanity. He paid the price of death in order to share his message. He took the religious/legal punishment. It is finished, nothing more needed to do. No longer are we seen as dirty, but clean. Accepting Christ means that you accept that you are blemish-free, and do not need to reside in a metaphorical hell, but you can have life. You are forgiven. Today can be the first day of your life, and you can do that every day if need be.
Somehow, this good news has been translated as an either/or. Either you say the “sinners prayer” which is nowhere in the Bible, or you go to hell, not a metaphorical hell, but an eternal place of tortuous flames. This theology is man-made and completely diminishes our loving parent into a really inhumane maniac. Would any human on the planet actually do that to another human being? Send them to eternal fire? I can’t fathom that, nor can I worship and love that.
For example, Hitler is most likely the most despised creature that ever walked the earth. Some may like him, but for the majority of human souls, his cruelty is unforgivable. He sent other humans into gas chambers and ovens while they were still alive and killed them. Millions. He starved them, beat them, and tortured them. However, he didn’t do it eternally.
Gas chambers and ovens aren’t forever.
So, we are supposed to believe our Parent would send us to an eternal gas chamber because we were born into a Muslim family, or didn’t say a string of words? The God/Spirit/Heavenly Parent I’ve come to know is just not capable of that. If we are made in the image of this God, then our inherent love and compassion are also made in the image of God, and I wouldn’t even send Adolf Hitler to hell for eternity, and ESPECIALLY not my own children.
I believed we are loved so much we can’t even understand it. Dogs have given me a tiny glimpse of it. Being a mother has given me a taste of it. Romantic love has also shown me a little of it. However, this love transcends any human construct. I believe my heavenly parent wants me to be safe, so I don’t think I need to carry a gun on my hip. I believe my parent wants me to be fed, clothed, and my bills paid, so I shall not worry about that. This is the same parent that cares for the birds and dresses the lilies.
Yet, I don’t believe my heavenly parent lives outside of me in another dimension. Sometimes I believe it’s a higher self. I don’t believe it to be a singular Big Brother type. I believe we are all collectively part of this being. This higher power. Higher self. Either we choose to align ourselves with this love and love other humans too as we love ourselves, or we choose to exist in hell, or as Jesus would say, “Gehenna“, the town garbage dump, and will keep inviting horrible afflictions on to ourselves and each other.
Humanity will keep suffering because we lack the belief that we can move mountains. We lack the belief that we are loved, and can love too.
Perhaps if humans truly knew how powerful our faith was, we wouldn’t be afraid to go ahead and sponsor that kid in Africa for $32 a month. We all live in such fear that by signing up for a withdrawal of $32, we won’t be able to put gas in our tanks. However, that just hasn’t been my experience. Giving comes back to you in ten fold. It just might not be in the form of a mansion or yacht, but rather having everything you need.
So why are we so afraid to help each other? If we, the privileged, loved others as much as I am humanly trying to explain the way God does, then we absolutely, collectively can reduce suffering for other humans. First, however, we need to rid ourselves of the idea of a Hitleresque God.
If we understood this, I doubt we would live in such a self-destructive society. We could love ourselves, as is. We wouldn’t be destroying ourselves with drugs, alcohol, and relationships. If people loved themselves, I don’t think mass shootings would be a weekly occurrence. There would be far less sexual predators if they knew what this love was. We would choose life. Blemish free, and given eternal opportunities to grow and do better. We could treat ourselves with compassionate care and create our lives to be healthy and thriving. We then would just want to outpour that love we have for ourselves to other humans, regardless of who they are; race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or geographical location.
God’s “Love” needs a major paradigm shift. As long as we can embrace a God that’s love is conditional, then ours will be as well. So, I’m suggesting we discard anything less than unconditional love, which was Jesus’ whole point.
Love your children.
Love each other.
Love your pets.
Notice the love in yourself.
Notice the love from your children.
Notice the love in each other.
Notice the love from your pets.
God’s love surely cannot be any less than we can feel and see with our own human hearts and eyes. It surely cannot be less than my ex-husband’s dog’s love.