23 Dec Real Help for Real Living: My dog writes the family Christmas letter
For years, my wife and I sent Christmas cards to friends and family. We received cards from others. A few wrote Christmas letters. One person talked about his colonoscopy. I may love you but I don’t want to hear about that. In fact, don’t even tell me that when you call or come to visit me. I don’t want to hear that.
Two years after Rocky, our family Pomeranian joined our family, I decided to write the family Christmas letter. It would not be a brag sheet. It would be funny. It would tell the stories of the Marciano family from the perspective of the family dog. The idea was that somehow, he was given the gift of writing the letter and we printed it. I would also stretch the truth to make it funny. Here is an example of a letter from a few years ago:
This past summer, they found a four-foot black snake on the back porch. Let me tell you, it was not a black snake; it was a 24-foot Anaconda who made its way into the yard while I was on the leash. He grabbed me and threw me around. I found myself lying on my back. There he was, hovering over me, fangs dripping of venom, waiting to end my life. He tilted his neck back, ready to inject his poison into my furry body. I flash backed to my birth at the Daisy Hill Puppy Farm. Just when I thought it was all over, I saw, what was the most beautiful vision of my life. It was something between the Terminator and Rambo, but it had gray poofie hair. She was short and was wearing camouflage makeup. With a cast iron frying pan in one hand (after all, what else do Old Italian ladies use to defend the family pet) she smashed that serpent and sent it flying into a tree. As he was hanging there dazed, she took the meat cleaver from her other hand (I don’t want to know what she did with that thing in her younger days), and chopped off its head. My hero. (The person with gray poofie hair was my mother).
The first year we wrote the letter, we gave out copies to friends at church. One person came up to my wife and said, “You wrote a really funny Christmas letter. Great job.” My wife looked at him very confused and said, “I didn’t write it; Tony did.” The response was, “Tony couldn’t have written it; he’s too serious.”
Somehow I had been labeled. We knew each other or should I say we knew of each other. We greeted each other but never really talked. He decided I was a very serious person, incapable of anything that was funny. He really didn’t know me.
The same can be said of God. What is He really like? Tell me about His personality? How does He interact with us? What does He want for us?
Just like the guy in church who thought he knew me, he didn’t. Can we do the same with God.
There is a Scripture verse that says, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.” What is God like? Look at Jesus. Read the Gospels. Watch how He talks to people, interacts with them. Perhaps as you start this new year, you will do a red letter Bible study. By that I mean that some publishers print the words Jesus’ spoke in red letters. Choose one of the four gospels and do a “red letter” study. Find out who He is, not who you think He is. As you get to know Jesus, you’ll get to know the Father.