We live in “the dog neighborhood”. And “the kid neighborhood”. That’s what we were told the day we moved in. Probably to make sure we wouldn’t be one of those fuddy-duddy, don’t let your mutts pee on my lawn and we prefer kids to be seen not heard, type of people. Nope, that’s not us. We love kids and have two dogs, and love the fact that our daughter and our dogs have playmates. Each afternoon, the cul de sac fills with animals, kids and parents. Kids ride bikes, parents converse, and dogs gather in pacs and play chase, or whatever it is dogs play. And at first, our dogs were able to join. But it didn’t take them long to lose their freedom. Our Cocker Spaniel/Scnauzer mix and a Chiweenie are a bit too sneaky, and stubborn, for their own good.

The minute Ajay (the Chiweenie) is off leash, he bolts. Sheba, the Cocker Spaniel mix is a bit smarter. She’ll wait until you’re caught up in conversation or looking the other way to make her escape. And where do they head? To the busy main street, where they’ll end up as pancakes in two seconds flat.

The result? They’re no longer allowed to play with their doggie friends. It’s rather sad, really. Whenever I take them out, they see the rest of the crew romping and playing, and they’re stuck to a leash. How I long to give them freedom! But their desire to “break free” has actually placed them in a position of bondage.

The other day I was talking with a friend on the phone. This person is having problems. I don’t need to go into any more detail than that, except to say, most of their problems are self-inflicted. They are living in bondage. Their heart cries out for a Savior, only they spurn the very Hands that want to give them freedom. And because their deepest need is not filled, they reach and grasp for temporary fillers. Only those temporary band-aides don’t suffice. As I listened to them talk about the leash around their neck–bitterness, selfishness, pride, fear, disillusionment, unfulfillment–I was reminded of what Jesus said in Luke 13:34 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.”

If we only understood the love of the Father. Jesus came that we may have life and have it to the full. Apart from Christ, we are living in bondage. Freedom comes from full surrender.

As you listen to the following song, ask yourself this question: If everything comes down to love, then just what are you afraid of?

And this is God’s love song to you.