You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. ~Isaiah 26:3 nkjv

Elizabeth Marchman dog

Today I found God in the perfect velvety softness of my dog’s ear. 

Last night I had promised myself that today I would be focused.  I make that promise to myself a lot.  The truth is no matter how focused I try to be something always seems to grab my attention away.  Before I know it, the day is over and I am laying in bed telling God, “tomorrow, I will be focused.  I promise.”  So imagine my surprise when I come downstairs to start the coffee brewing and realize that the dogs are not under my feet begging to go outside.  I leave the kitchen passing back into the living room and spot the dogs.  Logan’s dog, Wye, is laying beside the sofa and my dog, Marco, is sitting up staring at the sofa.  My son is snoring like a freight train.  From the other room.  It took a moment to register that the man I was staring at was not Logan.  Marco looked at me and then back at the sofa.  I ran to Logan’s room and demanded to know exactly who was on the couch.  “oh that’s BJ,” I am told.  “He didn’t have a place to stay last night so I offered him the couch.  He was in the army.”  I assume the last statement was to reassure me that it was alright that I awoke to find a stranger in the house, on the couch.  Then the famous last words, “Pop knew.  He was supposed to tell you. Could you make some coffee?”  I agreed not really finished with my line of questioning and then I remembered – today I am focused.  It is Tuesday, I reminded myself.  It is blog day, I underscored mentally for emphasis.  I rushed upstairs to get my shower so I can begin the day focused.  Then I came back downstairs, made myself a cup of coffee and just as I step back through the threshold from the kitchen to the hallway headed for my writing room, Marco barks, looks at me and then at the sofa and a head pokes from beneath the cover and says, “Hi.”  I reply hello and tell him the coffee is on anxious to get busy being focused.  Not so fast.  BJ wanted to chat.  Not wanting to be rude, I chatted.  Then a few moments later, Logan emerges from his cave and wants to join the conversation.  And I just want to be focused.  Then my opportunity came.  They stepped outside and I stepped into my office.  I forgot to close the door.  They returned.  Conversations picked up where they had left off, guitars came out.  Now it is 3 pm.  And I am just now getting focused.  My dog lays his head on my leg as I type and reaching over I gently rub his ear.  The softness steals my attention away from the words that I so desperately try to type, the perfect words that I so desperately want you to read that today I seem destined not to find.  I look at his ear.  It looks like black velvet and is softer than anything I have ever touched.  He is making that happy groaning noise as I type with one hand and then he flops down at my feet.  Content.  Satisfied.  I once wrote in my journal that like a dog at his owner’s feet, I was the most content and happy as I lay at God’s feet dreaming of what He would do with my life, the ways He would use me and that like my dog, I was at my happiest just following Him around.

Today as I attempted to be focused on my writing, I had a revelation.  God wants me to be focused on Him.  And some days, my focus needs to be elsewhere.  I can set all the deadlines I want, but in the end, if I am focused on God, then it will all get done.  In His time.  Because His timing is perfect  Today someone needed kindness and last night he needed a couch.  The gift I received in return far outweighed anything I did or said.  BJ was admiring Logan’s guitar and I told him I had a Les Paul upstairs.  His eyes lit up.  “You think I could see it?  Maybe play it?”  For an hour, Logan and I watched in amazement as BJ played one song after another in a private concert.  Then he revealed he had only been playing a few years.  I couldn’t believe it.  I thought he had had formal lessons, but, no.  He had taught himself.  He offered to help me learn a few things about playing guitar and I eagerly accepted.  BJ showed me patience and kindness as my fingers fumbled over the fret board when his played so smoothly. He gently placed my fingers where they needed to be and instructed me on how long to hold down the string.  Before I realized what was happening, I was playing part of a song because I focused on what he was saying.  And it was then that it hit me.  God couldn’t just tell me.  He had to show me.  “Just focus on me,” He whispered in my ear as I strummed the last note, “and every word will just be written just like I want it to right when I want it to be.”  For me, it has always been about focusing on my writing because I know it is what God is calling me to do.  For God, it is teaching me about focusing on Him so He can perfect my writing so He can use it to His good and His glory.  

Today I am learning to find God in perfect places that long ago I would have never known as perfect.  Today I found God in a guitar lesson.  Today I found Him in the perfect velvety softness of my dog’s ear.

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