Teddy Sings

By Karen Spruill

Photo by Dreamstime

I was busy on my computer with the radio tuned to a Christian station. The dog lay nearby and suddenly started to gurgle, yodel and finally break into a howl. Teddy howls to special songs, or perhaps the term is best defined by “sings along.” It all started with a TV commercial for carpeting when he was a young dog. Almost five years later, we still mute that commercial since we aren’t sure if he sings out of annoyance, pain, or pleasure.

However, riding in the car with the radio on, Teddy has howled to several other songs. Today, the song, “I Can Only Imagine,” by MercyMe started his performance. I love the words to that song—nearly always bring a tear to my eye as I visualize how I might react to standing before my Creator in worship. So it did seem fitting that Teddy would select that song as one of his special numbers. Since I believe that even God’s creatures would recognize His awesome beauty, love and Divine energy. Surely Teddy would howl for God when in His presence. Perhaps he understands something about that song that I can’t comprehend.

What is my takeaway from Teddy howling to “I Can Only Imagine?” Well, perhaps when I am tempted to be critical about the way that some of God’s children express their love for Him—in artistic or musical forms—I can remember that some praise is best expressed from one’s very primitive depths—an innate howling at the moon. I may never be a spontaneous arm-raising Christian, but I hope I’ll think about praise the next time Teddy howls to a song. I trust that I won’t just press the mute button every time my spirit wants to praise God. That I will let the praise flow into song, prayer, writing, offerings, hugs, cooking, calling a friend... “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord” (Psalms 150:6, NIV).