A couple of weeks ago my husband and I and our little pup Zoi decided to embark on a quick trip to downtown Chicago. Sebi was going to Texas to give a week of prayer and we had sometime before his flight to take a stroll in downtown . At first I didn’t want to take Zoi. I thought she would be a burden and we would probably have to pay attention to all her needs and such. Thinking about it further it was a completely selfish reason, I wanted to go to some stores and knew they would not let Zoi inside —so I completely dismissed the idea. In the end we decided to take her, I mean who could revisits a little puppy with huge pleading brown eyes just begging us to come along for the ride.

So Zoi came along and  did what she usually does in the car: look outside the window, move from lap to lap, and feel the breeze on her face. After she’s moved around some she goes to the floor of the car and falls asleep.

Once we got to the city we walked a couple of blocks and began our tour of downtown. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. As we walked people would smile down at Zoi and exclaim, “Oh look a puppy!” People that appeared to be in a hurry would abruptly stop to give her a pat on her head. 

There were some individuals that just smiled down or walked past by only saying “hi,” but the majority of people would squeal say how cute she was an then go and pet Zoi. With each person she would begin jumping and trying to lick their face or chase them around the street. Zoi is a super star at these things, she immediately knows how to make someone feel loved and validated. It’s like in that moment no one else exists in the world and you have all her loving attention. 

There was one instance that is etched in my memory. Sebi and I wanted to cross the street but were stopped at a green light. From the corner I hear a man, who was holding a cardboard sign sitting with some blankets ask, ”May I please pet your dog?” And at that moment it was as if Zoi has heard it too and without hesitation went and greeted the man the same way she had greeting the young couple, the girls selling cookies, the old lady in the wheelchair, and her own parents, with unconditional love. His face immediately lit up as this small little corgi/beagle ran up and jumped on him and tried to lick his face off.

I stood there thinking, “My dog does a much better job at showing humans that they matter, that they are cared for.” I stood there seeing just a glimpse of what unconditional love would look like, not caring about what we look like, what career we have how prestigious we are—just God being excited about His creation and showing that with jumps and a plethora of licks on our faces.

Chantal Williams recently graduated from Andrews University as a doctor of physical therapy, and has been involved with Enspire Productions since 2011.