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Miracle Dogs for a Struggling Family

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A few weeks ago our family spent the weekend watching some old videos from when the kids were little. I had filmed a series of "a day in the life" routines to capture my little girls on tape, recording moments of them singing, playing, laughing, running, and riding bikes. Those little girls were so precious. They seemed so happy. So did my wife, Beth and I. Something about reminiscing makes you gloss over all the stress and chaos that was going on at the same time.

One scene in particular will stick with us forever. It is filmed in the dead of winter after a heavy snowfall. In fact, it's a snow-day for the entire family! We celebrate by bundling up our little girls, three and six years old at the time, and take them out to play in the winter wonderland.

It's eerily quiet in the neighborhood, other than the crunching of boots on the snow and the sing-song of little-girl chatter. The snow is a deep, fresh powder, and the afternoon sun has begun to peer through the clouds in the sky. I'm videotaping the girls sledding down the little hill in our yard, with their little snowsuits and saucers. Suddenly, out of nowhere, two beautiful fluffy white dogs appear in the scene, walking up the street towards our house. As they get closer, the two dogs spot the girls and begin to make their way up the little hill in our yard to greet them. What's odd is that these dogs were not from our neighborhood. We had never seen them before. But they were magnificent. They looked like some kind of Magical Christmas Dogs that had fallen out of a snow globe in the sky. They were pure, snow-white identical twin Samoyeds—big, regal, and stunningly beautiful dogs.

In the video, these happy beasts calmly approach our daughters and sit down, panting, smiling. It was as if this was their destination all along, like they had journeyed all the way from the frigid tundra of Siberia to finally meet the little Moore girls. The regal presence of these stately animals immediately transforms the scene from a suburban lawn into an enchanted Narnia Fairy Tale. My daughters, of course, are enamored by their fluffy new friends on a snowy day. We ooh and ahh while the girls embrace the dogs, digging their hands and faces deep into the fur. They snuggle for a while.

The twin Samoyeds bring a sense of serenity, tranquility, and a strange nurturing presence to the scene. Watching the videotape, you can hear Beth and me talking softly in the background with a quiet wonder as I'm recording the scene:

"Where did those dogs come from?"

"I don't know, but they're beautiful!"

"Can you believe how they just walked right up and sat down next to them like that?"

Then we stop talking, and it's very quiet. In the stillness and silence, all that you hear is the sound of the snow blowing in the light winter breeze, and the girls hugging the dogs. We watch for a while, taking it in. Then, as I'm filming, those dogs turn their attention from the girls and begin to look directly into the camera, right at Beth and me. Right into our eyes, like they have some kind of secret, ancient wisdom, as if they know all about us, as if that they've been watching us. They were just checking in.

No one said anything as the dogs stared at us.

After a few minutes the dogs leave just as randomly as they arrived. But there is not another person in sight. Nobody is walking the street with a leash. No master calls the pets back inside. They just run off and disappear into the woods. We never saw those dogs again.

I tell the girls that these were God's angels visiting us.

And I really believe it.

Reading through the journals I kept during that period, I realized Beth and I were going through some tough times. Some days felt like the world was going to crash in on us. But it's funny that as we watched ourselves on TV that day, we all wanted to go back there, back to that time. I wanted to reach in to the screen and say, "Hang in there, guys, it's all going to be just fine. You'll see! You're doing great."

I couldn't, of course, but God could. And he did. Whether the dogs were really angels, doesn't matter. God used them to touch us with the beauty and truth of his world. Sometimes the heavens declare of God. Sometimes dogs do.

Questions for Reflection:

  • Read Psalm 19:1-2.
    The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
    Day after day they pour forth speech;
    night after night they display knowledge.
  • Has the beauty and truth of God's creation touched you lately? How?
  • How could your daily work help others see the beauty and truth of God's creation?
  • Are you going through tough times? Share your worries with God in prayer.
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