Wednesday, January 8, 2014

My Constant Companion

by Dave Johnson

It’s been a year now since I’ve been without my furry friend, Clyde. He was a 150 lb gentle giant of an Alaskan Malamute/wolf dog; a spectacle of a dog and sweet companion. He died at the age of twelve, which I guess is a ripe old age for a big dog. It continues to feel like something significant is missing in my life... I guess that’s because there is. There is a conspicuous lack of happy tail wags and licks when I come home. Gone is my loyal hiking companion and travel partner. And gone is the greatest conversation starter ever when I sat at coffee shops next to this larger-than-life beast.

One of the most notable things missing from my world is the dog hair that I used to have on and in everything I owned. Every item of clothing; every square inch of my living space and vehicle showed the evidence of a giant, northern breed dog who produced an unimaginable amount of fur. I would go winter camping with this dog and he managed to stay comfortable sleeping in a snowdrift; he was endowed with a luxuriously thick and bountiful coat. A coat that would leave its mark everywhere he went.


People knew I had a dog in my life everywhere I went, because I had evidence of him on me. I loved when people pointed out the dog hair and asked me about my furry friend. He brought my life so much joy and richness to my life and I loved talking about him. I loved telling stories of our adventures together. Dang, I miss that.

Over time, when we are living our day to day lives in close proximity with the Lord, we end up with the evidence of Jesus in the nooks and crannies of our lives. Those fruits of the spirit can stick to us like dog hair for others to see. And people will ask. When they do, enjoy telling about the joy and richness that your friend Jesus Christ has brought to your life. Enjoy telling of the adventures that you’ve had because of the presence of Jesus in your life.

By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. (Galatians 5:22 & 23 NRSV)

Dave Johnson is the Director of Servant Ministries for BUMC.  He has his M.Div from Duke.  He may be contacted here