Sunday night last week found our family gathering in our room for a home movie. It’s one of those rare occasions that we watch a movie, and since we don’t go to the theater, I have stocked up DVDs that I bought online, for it’s difficult to find good, Dove-approved, and most of all, Christian movies locally. So, we have home movies for the Lenten and Christmas seasons and for summer when the kids are on vacation.
We watched Hachi: A Dog’s Tale. In terms of plot, there was really nothing much to it but the poignant, extraordinary story of a VERY LOYAL dog. That is, if one didn’t ponder on it spiritually deeper.
Hachi and his master loved each other so much that he saw off his master every early morning when his master went to the train station for his daily commute to work. When his master had boarded the train, Hachi would go home alone, and, as accurate as a clock that was set on a specified time, he would go back to the station in the afternoon and wait for his master’s return.
And so it was, everyday through the years, this schedule was religiously followed by dog and master, with plenty of playing, bonding and nurturing interspersed.
One morning, Hachi saw off his master, but when he returned to the exact spot that he used to wait on at the appointed time, his master never arrived. His master had a fatal stroke while at work. (By the way, this movie was based on a true story and that’s the part I like best if you’d ask me!).
My niece who is spending summer with us commented that their dog was very much like Hachi. When she and her brother were in grade school, every morning, their dog accompanied them as they trekked the short distance from home to school, walking along rice paddies and usually muddy roads. And when they left their classrooms in the afternoon, their dog was already waiting outside for them, and they would all walk back home.
Hachi, being a dog, couldn’t understand that his master was dead. Everyday as he used to, he would go to the train station, sit on exactly the same spot and wait. He did this faithfully for 9 long years – he didn’t change, he didn’t waver, he didn’t doubt! He continued to believe and hope that his master would soon arrive and life would again be perfect! Every afternoon, he would be there waiting and watching…until the day he died. (Remember, this was based on a true story!).
The kids had long left the room but I sat there deep in thought. And the first thing that found its way to my mind was the thought that dogs know how to unfailingly wait for their master, but could the same be said of people? And this verse came to me:
Even the stork in the heavens
Knows her appointed times;
And the turtledove, the swift, and the swallow
Observe the time of their coming.
But My people do not know the judgment of the Lord. (Jer. 8:7)
When the Lord Jesus was taken up to heaven, His disciples were looking steadfastly towards the sky, then two men dressed in white appeared and announced that He will come again in the same manner that He was taken up.
After three years that the disciples walked and lived with Jesus, gazing at His merciful eyes that knew all things, listening to His voice that spoke of excellent wisdom and authority but with unsurpassed gentleness and compassion, dining with Him, seeing those hands broke bread and gave, watching Him heal the sick with power and love and mercy – how could they face a future without Him? How could they wake up to a new day without ever thinking of Him, longing to see and touch Him again?
The Lord taught them, and His eternal words are also addressed to us, to watch and pray that they may enter not into temptation. That was what the disciples and the early apostles did, until the day they died. But not all. For when some of them didn’t “sit on exactly the same spot” and waited faithfully and longingly and watched and craned their necks, and prayed assiduously – their eyes strayed and their loyalty was adroitly snatched by the world. Remember Demas (2 Tim. 4:10).
What happened in the intervening years, after we had fallen “head-over-heels” in love with the Savior King? Are we now in that place where we are thinking that “the master delays in coming”, so we get ourselves entangled again with the affairs and cares of this world and we neglect or forget to take “our spot” to wait, watch and pray with all yearning and anticipation to His coming again?
He’s coming again and it’s anytime soon and when He does, will He find us in that place where He expects us to be – waiting, watching, praying, and ready to meet Him?
Related: First Love
My gratitude list – thankful to the Lord for:
- homemade strawberry shortcakes that gathered love and laughter around the table – again!
- spaghetti puttanesca for Saturday afternoon snacks with family – our simple celebration of the Lord’s goodness for we do not forget the years that we couldn’t eat together as a family
- the Lord’s light and wisdom coming on time before serious discouragement sets in. He shows an open door and there’s freedom! Truly, He’s the lifter of my head!
- Hannah’s A’s especially in Math and English, for God gives the increase when we seek Him first