Thursday, June 19, 2008

the pointer

When I was young I loved reading a series of novels about Irish Setters (Big Red, Irish Red, etc.).  Later we actually had an Irish Setter for a pet.  She was a lot of fun, with a spunky personality and we called her Impy.  One of the things that intrigued me about the setters was their innate skill assisting hunters.  They have an instinct to "point" at the bird being hunted to show the location, without actually flushing the bird.  This characteristic was found and bred in a number of types of dog dating back to the mid 1600's.  At that time hunters used nets to catch the birds and it was critical that the bird be found without its knowledge.  It turns out that "Setter" is another word for "Pointer".  When they "set" it's like they freeze into position to point toward the prey.  The analogy I'm thinking of has nothing to do with hunting, but everything to do with pointing.  As we live closely with Jesus, and intimately with our heavenly Father, through the indwelling and very real presence of the Holy Spirit we begin to take on characteristics of Heaven.  Such things as patience, a forgiving nature, kindness, selflessness, wisdom emerge from our personalities as a result.  In this way we can "point" to our Lord very clearly and show others another way of life than they may have known.  I suppose one contrast is the difference between the active pointing of the Believer and the freeze position of the setter.  Setter dogs have a reputation for being good natured.  The joy of showing the presence of the Lord can be at the heart of our nature, as well.
Exodus 9:16 "But indeed for this purposeI have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth."
Rob Smith

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