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>My sister Christine is a Christian, even with the dog. She is eighteen months younger than me and has always been eighteen times more giving of her love, affection, and generosity than I have.

When she was little and we braved preschool together, she reached out to the “new kids” or the shy kids on her very first day, trying to make everyone feel included. Before she knew much about Christ and the sacrifice on the cross, Christine leaked Christ’s Love everywhere.

Tracy, a black lab/German shepherd, is senile and has a hard time going to the lady’s room… or more often, she has a very easy time going to the lady’s room. Inside the house.

When we don’t feed her the food she likes, she refuses to eat for days. Her arthritis is incapacitating her legs and its becoming more and more difficult for her to sit and stand easily. Her solution is to pace all day long.

This dog walks a marathon a day, plopping down randomly with sound like thunder, sleeping for 789 seconds (using the lady’s room without her knowledge as she sleeps), and popping up to her feet like we shot a gun over her peaceful head.

Tracy has been in my life for one and a half decades and I love her, but I easily frustrate over her new, old lady quirks. I lose patience with her on a daily basis, though I will miss her when she dies.

Christine, however, treats her like a person. She comforts Tracy when she’s at home, she makes trips to the store and restocks her favorite food, she scolds us when we lose our patience with her deterioration, and she shows Tracy the love we abandon from time to time.

I found myself getting frustrated with Christine a few weeks ago. I thought, “You’re such a sucker, why put so much effort into being nice to her when she doesn’t remember what she’s doing?”

The Holy Spirit V8®-smacked me in the forehead.

My sister shows her patience, love, kindness, and effort because she tries to exert the kind of Love Jesus came to Earth to explain. Even though Tracy doesn’t have a human soul, she is part of God’s creation and is worthy of respect.

(I don’t own the rights)

Tracy might claw at the door to go outside, Christine will let her out, Tracy’s senility will dissolve any reasoning she had for going outside and compel her to impatiently knock and bark to come back in, all in a span of sixty seconds.

Christine is unfailing and completes this ritual a dozen times an hour, when she’s home. The dog doesn’t remember Christine’s patience, her aide, or her sacrifice, but Christine continues to offer it.

We remember an immeasurably tiny amount of the patience, aide, sacrifice, and gifts of our Father, His Son, and the Holy Spirit.

How many times has Satan asked of God, “Come on, just give up! There’s no point, see? They don’t even notice how much you do for them. Isn’t that exhausting?”

He never gives up on us. There’s nothing we can do to make Him love us less. He wants us to seek Him, but in the meantime we can witness His sacrifice, aide, patience and clues.

We’re prodigal sons and lost coins, even when we don’t know it. Praise God and His exhaustive effort to seek all of us!

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