My dog’s name is Barça, named after the famous Barcelona soccer team. He is a golden retriever. As I write my book on the Gospel of John, Barça is literally sitting on the floor at my feet. I can feel his fur against my feet. He will sit here with me all day long, though he might move over two feet and lean against the wall for a change of pace. But, Barça will be with me the whole time that I write. When I take a break and go lay on the couch to watch TV, Barça will come with me. He will lean against the couch, right beneath me. If I walk to the back of the house to go to the bathroom, Barça will go with me. He will lay down just outside the door, standing guard. If I go into the kitchen to make a snack, he will come in with me, not just because he hopes that I will drop a crumb on the floor. Barça wants to be with me. He likes to be with me. All the time. If I go upstairs to take a nap, he will come along and either lie on the floor next to my bed, or hop in the bed and sleep on my wife’s pillow (she hates that).
He is with me all day long, no matter where I go. If I head outside to check the mail, he will be standing at the door when I return, with his tail wagging.
Why do I tell you about my dog Barça and his desire to be with me no matter where I go? I think Jesus is the same way. I think that Jesus wants to be with us. Not only does he want to, he likes to be with us – a lot. He is standing over our bed when we arise, and he is excited to watch us each step of the day.
I kind of understand this. I love my two sons, and I love to watch them do whatever they are doing (though now that they are young adults, they are not always as excited to have dad hovering over them). I especially love watching them in sports. It gives me joy; it makes me happy. I am sad when the game ends. I want to be with them.
I think Jesus is the same way. We give him joy; we make him happy. He likes hanging out with us; in fact, he “sings over us” (Zeph 3:17).
My wife has always said that Barça is a gift. I don’t always agree with her, especially when he leaves us a nice “gift” in the middle of the floor. But, today, with Barça at my feet, he is a gift—a reminder that Jesus is here with me, watching over my shoulder, excited about walking with me today, excited about what I am studying and writing. Now, of course, Jesus is way better than Barça, but Barça does remind me of Jesus’s forever presence with me—that reminder is good.
I usually forget that. I usually forget that Jesus is with me, and that he is excited to be with me. I usually forget because I can’t see him with my physical eyes. But if I pause to think about it, I know that he is here. His presence with us is one of the last promises that Jesus made to his followers: “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20),
Now that I have typed this paragraph, I am going to head into the living room to watch a little soccer on TV. Barça will be right with me…and so will Jesus.