I recently picked an old James Dobson book off our shelf, called “Stories of the Heart and Home.” It is a collection of tales from Dobson’s life, or folks he has known over the years. In one particular chapter, Dobson recounts how much his father was always a dog-lover, and enjoyed a special friendship with a toy terrier named Penny for 17 years. When Penny’s health failed and they had to put him down, Dobson Sr. grieved for nine years, refusing to replace his little companion. Finally, he opened his heart to the possibility of another little toy terrier, but for months had no luck in finding one. Finally, answering an ad in the paper, Dobson Sr. and his wife drove across town to see the pup at a pet store. With a strict set of parameters in mind (pedigree papers, good temperament, six weeks old, all shots, etc.), they instead found the pup to be nine months old, no papers, in poor health, malnourished, quivering and traumatized in a filthy, over-crowded kennel. Astonished that anyone would offer an animal in this condition, Dobson Sr. recounted the meeting with the pitiful little pup-
“He followed me about the room, meekly, his tiny tail clamped tightly down, a picture of dejection…He seemed to be saying, ‘You look like a nice man, but I know you will be like all the rest.’..he put out his warm pink tongue and licked my hand, as if to say, ‘Thanks anyway, for coming to see me.’ They drove off, but suddenly turned around, unable to leave that little pup in there. Bringing the pitiful animal home, the Dobsons bathed him, got him all the proper medical attention, and put him on a healthy diet coupled with heaping helpings of TLC. Benji, has they named him, became a wonderful little addition to the family. As Dobson Sr. wrote- ‘He thinks I am God Almighty when he comes to meet me in the morning, twisting and wiggling like he will tear himself in two. It is as though he will never allow himself to forget his private hell in the pet shop!’
I found this story to be a beautiful picture of why God Himself came into this world over 2000 years ago. I found this Bible verse, that really relates well to the above story-
“When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, that He might redeem those under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.” Galatians 4:4 The word “redeem” meant to “buy out of the market”, specifically a slave market or an animal market. And everyone knows what “adoption” means. Together, these words tell us that God came for us, “entered the door” of this world, bought us with the precious blood of His Son Jesus, and adopted us as His very own. For that, I am most thankful.