Spiritual Practice


Kim Sheard

Elmo, a dog I walk, is afraid of other dogs. However, after careful introduction, he has become friends with my dog, Freckles. I can walk them together, and Elmo prances happily down the street next to his buddy.

You are better off to have a friend than to be all alone.
Ecclesiastes 4:9a (CEV)

The first time the three of us passed another dog walker, I held my breath. Normally, Elmo would yank at his leash, bark, and growl, as if to frighten the other dog before it tried to hurt him. However, with Freckles by his side, Elmo showed no fear; instead, he seemed brave and confident, as if he knew that two dogs against one was no contest.

Elmo instinctively knew that the support of a friend made him stronger, happier, and less vulnerable, that a good friend could help him succeed. I hope my friends look to me for confidence and courage in much the same way. I want my friendship to help others succeed. God sent me an example, and I’m not ashamed to take friendship lessons from a dog.


THINK ABOUT IT: What is it like to be your friend? Do you enable your friends to be stronger and happier? What more can you do to help them succeed?

—from devozine (September/October 2012). Copyright © 2012 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.
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