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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Foreign Language (12/09/10)

By Lisa Fowler



She sits as quiet and still as a lioness stalking prey on the open Serengeti. She watches closely for movements and signals. She listens intently for words and phrases that might give hints to coming events.

I lift my Bible from the nightstand. It falls open to familiar passages and I begin reading aloud. She sits erect and listens with eyes wide, remaining silent as I read. Tilting her head from side to side and lifting her ears, she appears to understand every word I say. She is both patient and serene.

I close my Bible and bow my head to pray. As a child peaking from the top of the stairs on Christmas morning, I squint to observe her reaction. Instinctively, she slumps to a lying position. Her head drops and rests comfortably between her paws. She watches my movements. Her eyes close, as if respecting the moment. The hint of a smile crosses my face. Surely He understands, after all, He made her. After momentary silence, my “Amen” is audible. She sits, lifts her head erect and waits.

I rise and amble through my tiny house towards the back door. She follows on my heels, imitating the steps I take. We reach the hook where her leash is kept. She looks first at me then at the leash, anticipating its lifting. Momentarily I hesitate; often to tease, occasionally to judge her reaction. As I reach, without hesitation or command she sits. I clasp her leash and slowly open the door. She waits and again locks eyes.
After a nod she steps out of the door and looks back, waiting for my command.

“Car or walk?” her glance questions.

“Walk,” I say and she turns towards the gate.

She looks at me with childlike round eyes and flashes a smile; mouth wide, tongue loose and flapping.

“Lets go to the park,” I suggest. We walk, side by side. Often, I comment on birds or flowers we glimpse as we walk. She looks up as I speak, then glances away. She too is enjoying the blessings that cross our path, though limited in her response.

After a time we return. I unleash her and she runs into the comfort of her large familiar surroundings. Suddenly, without warning she halts and stands motionless. She has spied playful squirrels scurrying up towering walnut trees, and morning doves sunning and cooing lazily in the grass. She waits patiently and listens for the energy in my voice.


She bolts. She heads first for the squirrels, giving lethargic doves the time needed to escape. As always, she is interested only in the thrill of the chase. She saunters back, catching my eyes and listening intently for my “atta girl! What a good protector you are!”

As fleeting moments of the day slip like sand through an hourglass we slump, side by side on the porch steps. We watch in silence as the sun plays leap frog with mountains in the distance. Thoughts of our day race through my mind like the replaying of a favorite old movie. I reminisce aloud.

Loyal and devoted, often she rises when I speak, listening for hints of familiar words and phrases. She tilts her head from side to side and pulls back the floppy ears that normally frame her spotted brow. She studies my expressions. Sadly, I realize that my words, though in tone familiar and kind, are to her a foreign language.

Likewise, the language of Heaven is both foreign and strange to our world. We study God’s Word and we pray. But alas, knowledge of our eternal Home remains unfamiliar to our mortal minds. We can no more grasp the meaning of “forever” than comprehend streets of gold, or an existence free of suffering and pain. For now, we are left only to daydream and imagine.

With heads tilted and eyes lifted, we listen intently for sounds or phrases from another world; hints of coming events!

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This article has been read 378 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lynn Moses12/18/10
I loved this! I too am a pet lover and I thought this was beautifully done. I can't imagine a better kind of day than the one you described. Nice job.
Joanne Sher 12/21/10
What a gorgeous piece. Love this!!
Cheryl Harrison12/22/10
How sweet! I loved your story and the message at the end. Great job.
Verna Mull 12/23/10
A great job of drawing a picture of the relationship between a human and an animal, and I loved your ending.
Patsy Hallum12/23/10
What a great human and dog story. They do understand our tone, and i'm not sure they don't understand our language. You know Dog is God spelled backwards. Congratulations on 2nd place!