Yes, shed happens. As anyone who wears black pants near my khaki-colored dog can attest.
This time of year, she isn’t the only one depositing tufts of fur. All along our favorite hiking trails are the signs of springtime shed – caught on branches, wrapped around old wire fences, snagged against the rough bark of a tree-turned-scratching post.
Springtime shed makes sense. Animals lose their heavy winter coats in preparation for the warm summer months. But this transition benefits far more than the one putting on a sleek new summer coat.
So often we see just one small piece of life’s puzzle. We see and understand a shedding dog through just one lens. We see and understand each moment of our lives through our own narrow viewfinder. There are so many things we will never understand this side of heaven. But in the intricacies of nature, we sometimes glimpse something deeper.
Like the day I saw a little bird pounce happily on a ball of animal fur and cart it away to her nest.
Who knew a shedding dog and a nesting sparrow were a match made in heaven?
“Look at the birds of the air,” Jesus told his followers. Take comfort in knowing that God cares for them, and learn from that how much He cares for you.
Nature can be harsh. One creature’s loss is another’s gain, and that loss may not be as innocent as a tuft of fur. But in the peaceful symbioses that do occur, we get a glimpse of what Eden might have been. Where all things worked together for good in a way that was immediate, and obvious, and universal. Imagine these simple, mutually beneficial relationships on an even grander scale. Imagine everything working together as happily as a shedding dog and a nest-building sparrow.
God’s design is far more intricate than we can even imagine.
If we look closely, we will find that there are elements of God’s good design all around us. These evidences point us back to a Creator who has not abandoned His beloved creation. God still holds all things together (Colossians 1:17).
Even shed happens for a reason. Think about that the next time you’re brushing pet fur off your pants.
Janet Beagle, Ph.D. serves as director of graduate programs for Purdue University’s College of Engineering and is a writer, a Bible study teacher, and a student of God’s word. In her spare time, she likes to eat other people’s cooking and hike with her dog, Marly. Read more of Janet’s Christian reflections at www.mustardpatch.org.