Drive evil thoughts and spirits far away; Master, watch o'er us till the dawning day, body and soul alike from harm defend, thine angel send.
- Petrus Herbert
My friend Mary Z. Whitney sent me her latest book, Max’s Morning Watch, hot off the press.
“Make sure to read it with Evie,” she emailed me on Friday before the long weekend. Her own wonderful photographs accompany the text.
First chance we got, my daughter Evie and I curled up together with this heartwarming story of the family dog who spends his mornings bird-watching at the window while Mary sits in the rocker with her Bible. Evie and I recognized some of the birds from those we observe at our own feeder–chickadee, Eastern bluebird and my favorite female cardinal. In fact, our two cats are bird-watchers too.
Max gets quite a workout observing the comings and goings of the feathered visitors. At the end of quiet time, a just-right-size patch of sunlight beckons from the rug. Naptime! Max’s rawhide stick and a promised game of fetch will have to wait.
“Aww,” says Evie, looking at the sweetest photo of this fluffy white cotton ball of a dog, fast asleep after a good morning’s work. Mary finds the perfect ending in Psalm 4:7, “You have put gladness in my heart.”
Evie closed the book and looked up at me. “Can we talk some more about getting a dog?”
It was a long talk over the course of a long weekend, and yesterday we added a new pet to our household. Evie and her sister are over the moon, the fish seem not to notice, and the cats are reserving judgment on our decision. We have challenges ahead, but I’ll hold tight to Psalm 103:11, which Mary quotes in her book that has changed our lives: “The Lord crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies.”
Colleen Hughes is the editor-in-chief of Angels on Earth. She's been at Guideposts for 20 plus years, and lives in a Hudson River town with her two daughters and two cats.