Do you see what I see?
Do you hear what I hear?
Do you smell what I smell?
Walking with Adi and her littermate Nova is like watching a choreographed dance of stop and start. One will be moving forward while the other stops to investigate a smell. The other circles back to check out this intriguing smell before moving on to find her own, only to be joined a moment later by her sister. The same dance takes place when they stop to look or listen. These Labs willingly share what they smell, hear, and see with one another.
While watching Adi and Nova dance through the woods as we hiked, I found myself humming the Christmas carol “Do You Hear What I Hear?” and thinking that our Heavenly Father wants us to move through life in much the same way as these dogs. He wants us to come up alongside each other sharing our experiences with His Son Jesus. A look at the Christmas story shows people who did just that.
First there are the shepherds. The fortitude of these seasoned outdoorsmen was shaken when they found themselves the recipients of an angelic birth announcement, “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” This was followed by an angelic performance of praise that illuminated the night sky. When stillness returned to the fields, these men immediately sought to “find the baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” The Bible tells us that after the shepherds found baby Jesus they didn’t return to their flocks; rather they “spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard were amazed. . .” Imagine the wonder and joy felt by those who stopped and heard the incredible account relayed by the astounded shepherds who had seen the Christ child. (Luke 2: 8-18)
Another example is found in the aged widow named Anna. This faithful prophetess encountered the newborn Jesus when his parents took him to the temple in Jerusalem. “Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.” Imagine being one of the throngs of visitors to the temple who happened to come up next to the radiant Anna and heard her words of hope and encouragement- the promised Messiah had come. (Luke 2:36-38)
As I reflect on the pups’ dance and the Christmas story, I find that I only complete part of the dance. I readily come along others to see and hear what Jesus is doing in their life. However, when others come up alongside me, I fail to reciprocate. My preference for listening combined with my dislike for talking about myself prompts me to redirect attention given me onto others. Thus, I allow the moment to share the Lord’s impact on my life slip by. In reading the Christmas story, I’m concerned that had I been in the shepherds’ or Anna’s shoes I would have kept the experience to myself, storing it deep within my heart and drawing on the memory to bolster my own faith. In doing so, I would have failed to encourage others by sharing the joy and hope received from the encounter with Jesus.
In watching these Labs, I sense the Lord challenging me to complete the dance. To readily share with those who come up alongside me . . .
How His promises in the Bible fill me with joy and hope.
How His Words in scripture stay the anxious thoughts that worry my mind.
How He gives peace and calm in the midst of chaos and uncertainty.
How He heals the wounds of disappointment.
How He helps me steer clear of the snares of pride and self-sufficiency.
In closing, I impart this challenge to you. Be like the shepherds and Anna by sharing with others this Christmas season and in the new year the ways Jesus has touched your life.
Do you hear what I hear? Do you see what I see? Only if I share.