We have two schnauzers, Deacon and Dodger. Deacon is 13 years old, highly intelligent and has a bark so piercing it will induce physical pain. Dodger is three and dense as a hickory knot, though he is disarmingly sweet and howls like a coyote.
Deacon, the dog you see at the top of this blog page, is likely the most famous schnauzer in Tennessee. We have lots of guests at our house and everyone knows Deacon (though not all are enamored of him). I have friends from Ghana and Nepal who ask about him. We have received Christmas cards addressed to him. He’s in our formal family photo and is featured in a painting of our house. I love Deacon more than any dog I’ve ever had. Sadly, I know his days are numbered. I try not to think of life without Deacon because it makes me sad.
Someone once asked Billy Graham if dogs will be in heaven. He replied, “God will prepare everything for our perfect happiness in heaven, and if it takes my dog being there, I believe he’ll be there.” That’s comforting if true. I hope Deacon is in heaven and I assume he won’t pee on the carpet there.
The concept of dogs in heaven makes you wonder what heaven is really like. In the Bible we read about streets of gold and mansions, which makes heaven seem more like Beverly Hills. That’s cool, but not my idea of paradise. When I think “paradise” I tend to picture mountains and trout streams. My daughters probably imagine something like Disney World. I should note that both my daughters are adults.
I once heard a high school student comment, “Heaven seems boring. It’s just one long church service with harps.” How sad, I thought, that this young’s man image of eternity was so completely wrong. Sure, there will be incredible worship of Jesus, we’ll all sing beautifully and angels will lead the celebration. But that’s just a slice of what heaven will be like. I’m no expert, but I believe heaven will be what God originally intended, a perfect place where He dwells with us. No illness, no depression, no evil and no dog poop. I’m hoping there will be trout fishing. And football.
The thought of heaven motivates me to live for Christ, not because I can earn a ticket, but because I want my life to be pleasing to Him. I really believe in the concept of heaven and I equally believe in the concept of hell. Hell is a place devoid of God’s presence and it will be miserable and eternal. I want to be in heaven with Jesus… and my schnauzer. My dog is not a Christian, as far as I know, but he is, after all, a Deacon.