The Norman Transcript

Religion

April 5, 2013

Sharing God’s love with others

NORMAN — My grandmother, who lived to be 96, spent the last four years of her life in a nursing home just blocks from where we lived. She lived across the hall from the pop machine and would ask us when we arrived, “Got 50 cents? Bring me a Pepsi.” That and a baked potato every afternoon when my mother would visit pretty much set her up.

My mother’s daily presence and those two tasty treats were the highlights of her days in those years.

Many of her fellow residents found similar pleasure in the monthly visit from dogs from a nonprofit agency that provided companion animals for differently abled folks. People who stared in silence most of the time would come alive at the nuzzle of a cold, wet nose. People who no longer had words seemed to communicate thoughts with these furry friends. And people whose smile muscles seemed completely dead would miraculously reanimate as a small dog was placed in their laps.

There’s something about the relationship between people and animals that’s hard to articulate and, for me, points to God’s presence. We theological types spend so much of our lives trying to explain how God works and explain what love is and explain what this or that word really means in scripture.

Sometimes we ought to sit back and say, “Some of this faith journey stuff is a mystery, and we must be at peace with the mystery.” Some of it we just can’t explain. God’s love is nearly impossible to explain, even though many of us work in places where books that try to explain it line the shelves.

How do you explain the love of a being you can’t see or whose existence you can’t prove? It’s about as easy as explaining why you love that kid you’re raising or that guy you married … or that dog who has climbed into bed next to you the last 10 years and whose contented sigh is the last thing you hear before you drift off.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Religion
  • Hnsen Luger Kate Hansen still riding the Olympic cloud

    Not many people can say they actually accomplished their lifetime dreams. Even less can say they did it before turning 22....

    March 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Conference set

    Following a diocesan-sponsored national conference on violence, “Reclaiming the Gospel of Peace,” the Episcopal Church Women of St. John’s Norman will host an Oklahoma diocesan-wide women’s conference and Bishop’s day on April 25-26....

    April 18, 2014

  • Muslim group urges re-education

    LOS ANGELES — Seeking a way to prevent violence like last year’s deadly Boston Marathon bombing, an Islamic advocacy group Monday announced a plan aimed at helping U.S. mosques identify and re-educate radicals....

    April 18, 2014

  • This is ... Friday ...

    It’s Good Friday. Good Friday? What could possibly be “good” about Good Friday? Think about it … this is the day in which the Lord Jesus was beaten and crucified. He hung on a cross between two thieves. Abandoned, betrayed and denied, by ...

    April 17, 2014

  • Why do we always test God?

    ‘Do not put the Lord God to the test,’ Jesus said, but don’t we do this all the time? Human nature The Rev. Holly McKissick, Peace Christian Church UCC: It’s human nature: testing the limits of God’s peaceful creation....

    April 17, 2014

  • Girl told not to say prayer

    OVIEDO, Fla. — The 5-year-old who said she was told not to pray over her lunch visited the school Monday and identified the staffer in a line-up, her family’s lawyer said....

    April 11, 2014

  • CrossPointe chooses Butler as lead pastor

    One of Norman’s largest churches has chosen a new lead pastor for its congregation. Mike Butler, 38, was voted lead pastor by the congregation of CrossPointe Church on March 23. Butler succeeds Glenn Quirk, who served as lead pastor for ...

    April 11, 2014

  • A divine drama

    All of us love drama. We experience drama in many ways. We watch a play on a stage or a show on TV. We have lives filled with drama every day through interactions with other people....

    April 11, 2014

  • What should we think of original sin?

    The Rev. Joe Nassal, Precious Blood Center: Watching the evening news recently, there was one disaster story after another, from the Malaysian airline that disappeared to the mudslide where one minute people are going about their daily ...

    April 11, 2014

  • Lenten lunch set

    The next Norman Ministerial Fellowship Lenten lunch will be Wednesday at NorthHaven Church, 4600 36th Ave. NW. Guest pastor will be the Rev. Joseph Summerville, University Lutheran Church. The sermon theme will be “The Thursday of Holy ...

    April 4, 2014