Two Dogs and the North Star

This is a story of two dogs.

One is blind; the other is deaf. Both have been in my family for some time—BJ came to us 15 years ago; Goliath a few years later. They have been true companions for a very long time in dog years.

There is a beautiful symbiosis between them. BJ, who can see, leads Goliath through the stations of their day. Goliath listens and alerts BJ to any unusual sounds. When they are together, they know who they are: BJ is the eyes. Goliath is the ears.

I was outside last night, looking for Polaris, and thinking about how for centuries, people have been able to ascertain their own location relative to that one star. Even out in the middle of the blackest night, in a sea of darkness, a sailor could look up and see it, and be assured that he was not lost. It must have been such a relief, as storm clouds parted, to see its light and know where you were.

What does this have to do with the dogs? They are each other’s North Star. Each knows who he is and where he fits because of the other. They don’t get lost when they’re together.

Of course, that led me to think about my own North Stars…about how I know who I am when I am with the people who love me—how they flicker on in the darkness and lead me to a much bigger love.

Think about the people who truly love and accept you; who bring out your best; who somehow make you more fully you. These are the mirrors we are meant to look into to catch glimpses of ourselves as God meant us to be. They are the ones we look for when we’re lost or afraid. They are God loving us and lighting the way in a world that can get pretty foggy at times.

Watching the two dogs putter around the yard together reminds me that God didn’t leave us helpless and alone in the dark. We are meant to walk together and help each other feel our way along. When we get off course, when we come through a storm, when the sky closes in and we forget who we are and why we’re here, we have to remember to look up and see the souls around us. There we’ll find God. We’ll find ourselves. We’ll see that we are never really lost.

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