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The gospel according to Rover

Gerald Mitchum Published on 25 November 2014
Dr. Gerald and Frances Mitchum

One of the difficult things to understand is how does the God who created everything love me … why does He want a relationship with me?

This is especially difficult in a Buddhist/Shamanist culture where the gods can’t wait to drop the hammer on you, and the only way to stop the crushing blow is to pay the lama or shaman. There are billions of people, and how does God have the capacity to love each of us?

I think old flea-bitten Rover gives us a glimpse of understanding as we observe the relationship between animals and animal owners.

Now, I never thought that Mongolians would be as daft as Western pet owners. But it has happened and we see the same thing among animal owners in Mongolia we have seen in America for years.

Let me share with you the parable of “The Gospel According to Rover.”

A gentle herder was forced to move to the city following the destruction of all of his animals after a severe Zhud (late-spring storm).

He found a comfortable apartment and made the long move. He missed his animals in the worst kind of way and mostly he sat dejected staring out the window from his urban prison.

One day he went to the Black Market to buy some necessities. By the gate sat an old woman dressed in her warm del with felt boots, holding a sign … “puppies for sale.”

The old herder looked at the little balls of fur and quickly made his decision. I will have one of these puppies to fill my life with the joy I knew when I was herding my flocks.

He took his new puppy home and made him a nice box. He had the run of the house except for the dining room with its nice white carpet. The herder would walk with him in the park.

Rover chased the ball that was thrown again and again and never tired of being with this man who loved him deeply.

One night Rover was restless, and he began to chew on his box. He soon had a hole just large enough to squeeze his fuzzy body through.

He just couldn’t resist. With his owner sound asleep, he slipped into the dining area and frolicked and rolled on the wonderful snow-white carpet.

He was so excited that he lost himself in the moment and began to chew and pull and shred. Before he realized what he was doing, there was a hole right in the middle of the beautiful carpet.

There was absolutely nothing he could do … regardless of how he tried, he could not cover over the huge hole. He crawled back into his box and waited for the footsteps of his master sure to come.

There were no more walks in the park … no long evenings in his master’s lap. The relationship was severed and he was tormented with guilt and despair.

One afternoon, the old man sent his son to find a way to cover the hole in the ruined carpet. He returned with a fine red rug made of pure wool with an intricate design. The rug was rolled under the table and it completely covered the hole.

The herder couldn’t see it at all. He went into little Rover and held him tightly. Once again they frolicked and played together in the park. The relationship between the master and his dog was completely restored.

Now if mere humans can love a worthless, snapping, overweight dog … perhaps God really can love me too.

In fact, that is exactly what Jesus is all about. He is love. God loved man and He made him for fellowship. But, He also gave him the latitude to decide if he would chew through the box or if he would follow Him.

He chose to rebel and broke the relationship with His creator and loving God. So God sent His only son Jesus Christ to cover our sins with the blood from the cross.

Jesus would completely cover our sins if we would but accept His offer. It was impossible for us to do this for ourselves and only through His sacrifice was there salvation.  end mark

Dr. Gerald and Frances Mitchum have served in Mongolia since 1995 with V.E.T. Net, a network of vets and educators training herds, and small and large animal clinics.

PHOTO
Dr. Gerald and Frances Mitchum in Mongolia. Photo courtesy of Christian Veterinary Mission.

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