I knew it was coming. I looked at the clock and wanted to close my eyes for just a couple of minutes. But like most mornings, I waited for Carl’s quiet whimper to change over to the piercing howling that we had grown to tolerate. After a couple of minutes of hearing the annoying noise, I got up and opened the door to find my two little dogs looking up at me. How could I be mad at Carl? Even as I discovered the stuffing that he had pulled out of his bed littered all over the floor, I couldn’t stay angry for long.
When I think about this situation, I come one step closer to understanding how much God must love each of us. I know if God, who is love, can forgive me when I continue to sin, I can forgive my little dog. There is a statement that Jesus said in Luke 7:47 that captures the relationship between love and forgiveness. He states, “I tell you, her sins–and they are many–have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.”
Sometimes, I believe that God placed Carl in my life to demonstrate how I must look to him. I might not howl out loud but I definitely scream out when I feel like I have been neglected or even rejected. I might not pull the stuffing out of my bed but I do pull out sinful thoughts and negative attitudes from my heart.
I have come to realize that comparing myself to others leaves me hardened to my sins and only provokes me to be unforgiving. But if I compare myself to Christ, I quickly realize that I am far from perfect and am in need of a loving savior. This attitude helps me as I approach others in my life. If I see that I am unworthy of forgiveness, I am much more willing to forgive those around me. Which leads me back to Carl and the morning routine of placing my pillow over my head to deafen the howl that just won’t go away.