At the end of the day, when I get home, I often see Charlie perched in our front window watching all the passers-by. As I pull in the driveway, he watches my car intently. Sometimes, I wave from the car, but I am not sure if he sees me. He watches the car closely, and just as I pull in the garage, his head disappears behind the curtains. I know exactly where he is going when he does this. He is waiting for me at the top of the stairs. When he sees me, his tail wags like crazy and his mouth opens in a sort of smile. He stays there until I greet him with an “hello” and a pat on the head.
This happy hello is one of the reasons I love having a dog. It is pretty great to have someone so glad to see you. The funny thing is, I am not the only one who receives such a friendly greeting. All who come to our house are greeted with this exuberant tail wagging and doggy smile! In the short time Charlie has been with us, I have yet to see a person that was not offered this warm welcome. To him, each person is a chance for a new friend, a playmate, or at the very least, another hand to pet him.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if WE would greet each other this way? Certainly when we see our loved ones, our family and friends, we are smiling and warm. But, what of the folks we don’t know? The ones who are different than us? The ones whom we disagree with, or even dislike?
Part of our mission as disciples of Christ is to reach out to others - not just the ones who believe what we believe, or think like we think. When we commit to this discipleship, we are to see every human being as a child of God. This is no easy task! Yet, time and again, we find it in the Scriptures. Love one another, love thy neighbor, love thy enemy. Jesus tells us that when we do this, we do it to HIM. So, this loving each other isn’t just some humanitarian effort, it is literally loving God. Every face you see is the face of God. Perhaps they don’t know it, but you can. It all begins with a simple hello.