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by Joyce Zammit

And we can rely on this kind of love, we are safe in God’s hands

I think it was the 16th December of 26 years ago when my day started very early.  Having a full schedule that particular Saturday I opened our front door when it was still dark.  It had been raining all night and I felt the wet cold air on my face but I also felt something brushing past my feet.  I looked down but in the dark I couldn’t distinguish what it was.  Whatever it was had entered the house.

timmyTurning back I switched on the light and to my amazement I saw a wet, shivering puppy looking at me with the softest of eyes.  My first reaction was to shoo it off again.  Pets in the house meant more responsibilities, more work, new problems.  I knew all that,  but … on that day Timmy officially entered our house, and officially left it 16 years later.  I say officially because he left the house many times when he shouldn’t have but always returned.

Our two boys named him Timmy because at that time they were fans of Enid Blyton’s FAMOUS FIVE books.  And Timmy certainly meant more responsibilities for me (although there had been  many promises of shared responsiobility before!)  There was more work too because he never quite came to terms with toilet-training,  causing brand-new problems to me, too!  And he had the in-built urge to leave the house and go roaming all-over the place whenever someone forgot to close the front door properly.  We would wait and worry until his royal highness decided to come back home!

But despite all these problems, sometimes I can still imagine hearing his ‘paw steps’ following me around, even though he has been gone now for more than seven years.  He would go round the house checking that each member was ok.

Because Timmy loved us unconditionally.  You could be angry at him, leave him alone for a whole day, forget to top up his water-bowl, give him a bath, which he hated so much, shut him up in the attic so he won’t scare off the doctor, shoo him off from you … the result was always the same.  He still loved us dearly.  He forgot instantly that he had been hurt and kept on loving us.  To the end, when he was old and very sick, when he could hardly walk, he still did his best to protect us.

So, really, I am glad that Timmy chose our house that rainy day.  He taught us what unconditional love is … exactly as God loves us.  His love is not based on our actions.  Whatever wrong we might do He will love us always.  He loves us even when we hurt others, also His beloved children.  He gives us the opportunities to grow in love, indeed He always seeks our best interests.  But whether we co-operate or not, He still loves us.  And He will provide these opportunities to the end of our lives.

And we can rely on this kind of love, we are safe in God’s hands, which is why I’m glad Timmy came into our life.  He helped us understand and savour this fantastic unconditional love.  Thank you so much, Timmy!

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