Puppy Ways: Living in the Mystery of God

lovely Luna A new puppy has entered my world, thanks to my husband who cannot be trusted alone in a pet store.  Luna Consuela Kuhlman, a fawn and white chihuahua, was his Father’s Day gift, he says, but in reality, my service of housebreaking and tending to the new pup are his real present.

Besides bringing extra work into my household, Luna has opened my eyes to the wonder and mystery of the world around me, much the same way  a toddler would.  When I take her out to potty, she stops to sniff a dandelion and to chase a moth.  Observing her as she experiences this world helps me to see the beauty that I take for granted because I have labeled and categorized it, perhaps even read about it in a book. I know, for example, that moths have different antennae than butterflies, but having this knowledge doesn’t fill my heart with wonder and joy, perhaps even a lightness, as does watching a moth flit through my yard and garden.

When I feel I have learned everything there is to learn (or that I want to learn) about a topic, I’ve found that I start to take it for granted and stop noticing the subtle nuances.  I think this premise can also pertain to our perception of God.  When we begin to label and categorize God, we most likely feel that we are understanding the Father, Son, and Spirit better.  But I believe we need to be watchful we don’t get to the place where we feel comfortable with our knowledge of God, believing we have everything figured out.

Poet Mary Oliver captures this in her poem “Mysteries, Yes,” where she begins, “Truly, we live with mysteries too marvelous to be understood.” While it is important to know fully and deeply that we are loved and held by Someone greater than ourselves, the danger comes from resting our belief in what we have figured out or in what someone else has figured out for us. We forget how limited our human minds are, how incapable of comprehending spiritual truths that are outside our senses. We become comfortable with our limited view of God, and when that view is shaken, we feel uncertain and afraid. Even worse, we become immune to the miracles and beauty that surround us every day, constantly revealing the love of the Father, Son, and Spirit for all creation.

Our job is to become comfortable with mystery, living with the uncertainty joyfully by noticing the “I love yous” sprinkled throughout our everyday existence.  As Oliver concludes her poem:

Let me keep my distance, always, from those
who think they have the answers.
Let me keep company always with those who say
“Look!” and laugh in astonishment
and bow their heads.

Our puppy Luna says to me, “Look!” in her own puppy way, showing me something old that I’m seeing as if for the first time, making me laugh and then bow my head, recognizing that God is greater and more wonderful than anything I could ever fathom.

~by Nan Kuhlman




2 comments so far

  1. Craig Kuhlman on

    Cutest puppy I’ve seen in awhile…photo courtesy of the talented Chloe Kuhlman 🙂

  2. jkharri4 on

    Thank you. Well said. I too have a similar baby…Chloe…a more fawn than white Chihuahua/miniature pitcher mix. …with one eye…a rescue …and a birthday gift. She is so happy all the time. So GRATEFUL..So excited to explore. She has taught me to truly live more thankful and grateful and more aware of the beauty around me. As my son said recently, “live life more purposefully”. She is constantly doing down dog….so I enjoy my yoga class more….haha.

    Yesssssss it is so easy to put God in a box….thinking “I know him” ….but then I get knocked off my know it all self….haha…yesss feeling uncertain and afraid…..I realize my mind can never comprehensive the vastness of who he is and just how great and powerful he is, because He only reveals to us what he wants us to see, and he only reveals himself through Jesus Christ. How AWESOME he gave us his son. So yes, Choe has taught me to breathe a little slower..laugh a little more….to see and enjoy his miracles and the beauty around me in all his creation…..ESPECIALLY people. Because in each of us is Jesus Christ. Thank you!

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