We rescued a tiny Chihuahua about six years ago and named her Madigan. She was an older dog and her spirit had been broken beyond comprehension. Her entire life confined to a crate, locked away with a sole purpose of having pups for her owners to profit from. The room was full of these stacked tiny crates all full of barks and whimpers. Except for one. She sat in the back of her kennel looking but not barking. Not a peep came out of her. She had been there for over 30 days and her time was soon up. I locked eyes with her and as I walked around the room to get closer, I noticed she continued to follow me with her eyes. We formed an unbreakable bond that day.
We soon learned that she’s deaf but we continue to talk to her and she seems to enjoy it. We get to spend the majority of our days and nights together since I work from home. She has a big, soft bed that she sleeps on throughout the day in the living room. She loves that the sun will warm her as it passes through our windows. She is happy and worry free…
when she can’t find me.
Every hour or so she will do a search of house for me. If she can’t locate me right away she begins to panic a bit. Her wobbly steps quicken and her sniffs get louder as she pushes each door open with her nose. Since she is deaf, she uses her other senses to hunt me down. Her eyesight is not the greatest and even when the house is full of the aroma of a delicious dinner cooking….she somehow can always find me. We obviously do not communicate verbally but I can tell when something is just a little off with her and she with me. Sometimes all she needs is a little more alone time with me. Not just me sitting with her but fully engaged. Dogs and people have such an amazing yet strange relationship with each other.
But this morning the house was so still and so quiet. She was out on her day bed and I was in my office working. I heard her get up and begin to slowly walk around. I could hear her sniffing the ground. She went through the kitchen back to the living room, then the guest bathroom. Her steps increased as she ran to the front door to see if my steps led me away from our home. She picked up speed to the living room again and then down the hall to the master bedroom and just as she stepped a few inches into the office she turned around and ran back to the front door…this time in full panic mode. I could hear her starting to whimper. So I got up and as I went down the hall I noticed her sitting uncomfortably on the bottom step facing the front door. She was waiting for me to come home to find her and comfort her fears. She was so focused on her feelings that I had left, that it took her a minute or two to realize I was right there with her. The panic and distress in her face quickly faded as her eyes brightened and her tail started to wag as soon as she realized I was there all along. Silly girl!
Every room Madigan had entered to search for me, she fully walked in, she wholeheartedly sought after me but when she finally made it to the office, she gave up. She’s not here. She has left me alone. Madigan gave up and decided to wait at the front door for me to come home and find her. But I didn’t need to find her…I was here all along, listening and waiting for her to find me so I could continue to finish my work.
As I comforted her and then returned to my office I realized that her behavior is similar to my relationship with God at times. I can not physically hear our Father’s voice speak to me. So in order for me to “hear Him”, I have to seek Him through His word, through my prayers and my unwavering feelings found deep in my heart and in my mind.
There are times when I “hear” nothing. And some sort of panic begins to set in from my place of brokenness, wondering why would He make me go through this trial alone. Why isn’t He providing me with the answers I need? I battled with this often as a single mom. Asking why am I doing this on my own? Why can I never catch a break in life? Why is life such a struggle? Why can’t I have more time with my kids? Why am I sad, stressed…I could go on and on. Just like me, Madigan began to allow her emotions and fears to mask the fact that I was with her the entire time. I could hear her, I knew which room she was in, I could sense her panic as her steps increased. I was here all along. She gave up looking for me just as she was about to find me.
Does that ever happen to you when you think you are truly seeking God? You stop short? You don’t put in the time or effort to truly seek Him? You don’t use that time seeking Him to learn the lessons He’s trying to teach you? Then you blame Him for leaving you all alone and you haven’t learned a thing?
The truth is, He is here with us all the time, every day, every hour. God is there always being patient and forgiving…He is waiting on us. He is continuing to work on us as we search for him. It is US that must SEEK HIM. So when my head begins to spin with questions of why and where are you, I need to go back to the place where His voice can be heard. And that is daily time alone…deep in His word. Having faith and believing that He is here with me always. Sometimes His silence is His way of making me dig deeper and to stop giving up. His silence could be out of my disobedience…so I need to focus on the lesson for me to learn. And sometimes the silence is to guide me back to Him by encouraging ME to be silent. Silence the crazy thoughts in my head. Silence the doubts. Silence the insecurities. And only SEEK HIM with ALL of my heart and that is where I will find Him.
Silence used to be so excruciating and difficult for me. If I kept busy I wouldn’t have to listen to the self-doubt, the sadness and the negative self-talk...until I learned that the silence is where I am able to find Him.
And there is so much comfort in that.
Silence is where I found love, mercy, forgiveness and grace.