Loving My Little Dogginess: A Reflection on the Canaanite Woman

(Matthew 15:21-28)

She’s yelping and jumping, whining and wagging her little tail.  My little dog Zoey is looking for attention, looking for love.

In Matthew’s gospel, the Canaanite woman is looking for the same.  She petitions for attention…whining for love as she begs healing for her daughter.  With a heart normally accustomed to idol worship of pagan gods, she in her hunger, feels drawn to the Christ.  She’s creating a stir with her anguishing cries.

The disciple’s tell her to tone it down.  Doesn’t she know her place? Even Jesus Himself responds with absolute silence at first.

Then He appears to reject her entirely.  “I have people to take care of…I can’t waste my time on dogs outside the “house””.

And how does this woman-now-equated-with-a-dog respond back?  With playful agreement. With puppy dog eyes.

“Yes, but little dogs are so cute!  And you know you can’t resist me!  I would be happy to get any crumb of attention you would want to send me.  Because you see, I know that you are the Master.  And I know Your Heart can’t resist my desire to be known by You, to eat at Your table, to sleep by Your Fire, to be in Your House.”

My prayer is like that too.  And today, I came to love my “little dogginess” like Jesus does.

He knows I am looking for scraps from His table.  He knows I don’t deserve to be heard just because I’m nipping at His heels.  How patient He is, until I relent, and wait for a time to be noticed. How patient and obedient I am, when I sit and receive Him in silence.

Dog lovers take note!

Think of how you give in to that face!  That cry that pierces your heart. Does not the Lord do the same?

With the humility of the Canaanite woman, humbly call Him your Lord.  Wait on Him with attentive expectation, and receive the Word that she heard.

“O woman, how great is your faith.”

It is the story of the Christian’s life- idol worship turned into search for true worship…laments and demands into silence….knowledge of littleness rewarded with exaltation…and a permanent place to call home.

Sitting at the Master’s feet we are raised up to be honored guests at His table.

Thank you Lord ( and Zoey) for teaching me “little dogginess”.

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