Dog on a Foot

Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. Luke 10:39 NLT

Of all the stores my grandfather delivered ice cream to, one held a special place in my heart—even as a young child.

Aside from a few chain pharmacies, gas stations, and grocery stores, Mom-and-Pop stores ran the retail world. Small stores owned by local people. Stores where a person could purchase a little of anything—including ice cream. Some entrepreneurs even ran such stores from their homes. And my grandfather was more than happy to supply any of them with all the ice cream their customers could consume.

As a young boy, I enjoyed traveling from town to town and through the country lanes helping my grandfather stock these small stores with ice cream novelties. But the one I looked forward to the most was the one where a small dog sat on every customer’s feet who entered the store.

“Where are we going next?” I’d eagerly ask on the day of the week we worked this store.

Finally, I’d hear my grandfather say, “To the store where the dog sits on your foot.”

As soon as I entered, the dog trotted over and sat on my foot. He continued to sit there while my grandfather took the store owner’s order. He only moved when I moved to retrieve the items the owner ordered. Why he performed such antics, I’m not sure. Perhaps just one of those odd habits some animals pick up as a part of their unique personality. Such as my current small beast who will play fetch as long as I throw what she wants me to toss.

Mary, Martha, and Lazarus were Jesus’ good friends. Martha was a busybody, wanting everything in order. She was a good hostess. Mary loved to listen to Jesus teach, so she was a sitter. Martha fussed about it, but Jesus reminded her Mary had chosen the better thing.

The small dog at the store could have reared up on my leg or sat with his tail wagging and got the same response from me as he did by sitting on my foot. He wanted attention from the store owners’ customers. He obviously loved people and craved petting.

Jesus wants the same from me as He did from Mary. But most of the time, I’m a Martha. I get so wrapped up in daily affairs—good things mind you—that I forget to sit at His feet, enjoy His company, and learn from Him.

A better way exists—and Mary and the foot-sitting dog exemplify it. Time spent with the Savior is never wasted. Other things can wait. Listening to Him is more important.

Find a time daily to sit at the feet of Jesus.


Martin Wiles

Martin lives in Greenwood, SC, and is the Managing Editor for Christian Devotions (, the Senior Editor for Inspire-a-Fire, and a Proof Editor for Courier Publishing. He is an author, English teacher, minister, and freelance editor. He is the founder of Love Lines from God and the author of six books, including his most recent, A Whisper in the Woods: Quiet Escapes for a Noisy World. He has also been published in numerous publications. He and his wife are parents of two and grandparents of three. He can be contacted at

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