El HaNe'eman

Every day when I opened the front door of my home—my dog loved me. With the slamming of a car door and the clap of a latch, she knew who had come home. Lucy rushed to greet us from her soft, supple cove on the couch; she would prance and dance about my feet, jumping and wagging furiously to express her happiness; her voice would wine pitifully and heartily for one reason: her boy was home.

Sometimes I held groceries in my arms, true, and on such occasions she tended to spend less time jumping for my arms and more time jumping for the bags in my arms (to help carry them for me, no doubt). But most of the time, almost every time that I entered her Highness's kingdom, I held nothing but my book-laden backpack. And my viola. And my swim bag.

Whenever I came in bundled and bound by my many bags, she would wait for me; she didn't lose interest in me, didn't scamper for her cozy bed on the couch out of impatience. As long as I was able to know her, she was utterly faithful to me.

Fondly, I recall sprawling on the floor next to her still, quiet form while I attacked my homework late at night; she was the only one who would stay up with me while I worked after my parents and brother all disappeared to their rest. And as we lay there, she would scoot herself frame against my side and sigh contentedly, her snout nosing up to my hand as a subtle reminder that she awaited my scratching fingers behind her ears—but she never pushed for it, rather waiting patiently for me to rub her head affectionately when I had finished with the most stressful load.

Watching my every move, she would follow me as I distributed laundry around the house to all the closets and drawers. The sweetest part was how she would follow me no matter how comfortable she had just made herself in mom's bed (right in the middle of the just-clean bed sheets), in the closet under the low-hung clothes, or on the rug in the entryway.

And now she's gone.

We don't hear her tinkling, jingling collar as she sneaks and sniffs about the house for any loose food anymore. As I walk into the house, I hear only the silence left. As I walk in, I smell the clean smell of a fresh, sterile house.

Every day when I open the front door of my home—I love my dog.

The creator (Elohim) of the universe loves me like a dog—or more accurately, I think now with reverence back on Lucy and how she loved me like God.

Deuteronomy 7:9 describes God as El HaNe'eman: The Faithful God.

Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.
— Deuteronomy 7:9

Semper fidelis: "ever faithful". Marines mirror the mantra of God, humans made in His image living in one of the most complex forms of preservation known to the human psyche, sacrificing the team for the person in a code that never leaves a man behind, never gives up.

God always chases after us in our lives. He is felt when I lay crushed beneath despair, and felt in the wonderful celebrations after overcoming adversity. Whenever time grow tough, He doesn't leave me alone, but stands by my side as a silent strength. He doesn't fight my battles for me—He makes me better by giving me the strength to fight for myself.

Always there, during the good and the bad, God is faithful.

I'm not—But I'm trying.


Ponderosa pine fills the air, the scent of a comforting cool vanilla milkshake as it wafts across the nose. Mountain air holds a tight, uncomfortable chill around shoulders, the sun warming from across the peak and behind the front-line protection—the ranging Rockies—but ever out of sight behind the dreary, misting sleet.

Have you ever slept under the stars? Ever spent time in the out-of-doors, in the elements? Or possibly spent time in a damp, drizzling forest? Oh, how beauty shows!

Nature sustains itself with healing rain, with seasons and circling life. Majesty mounts the peaks with the first and last golden rays of sunlight, and misting frozen rain dresses the rough-hewn edges of the mountains with peaceful beauty before my eyes.  And from the behind the range—the thunder rolls.

Power pours from nature's every opening, and the strength and might of a sudden flash of lightning, or of a fiery flare in the forest, stand against all the powers of humanity.

Cold evening settles, the stars hidden behind the fog but the moon glowing softly beneath its humid halo of cold fog. A small campfire crackles to warm and dry the sharp bite from the air, and offer a more jovial glow from below the forest canopy.

Face it, we're scattered and broken ants across the face of the earth, and we don't even stand a chance against the awesome, creative, healing power of the natural world around us.

In the midst of natural power—we are utterly powerless.

None of that matters, though, in light of one, singular fact: that nature only faintly shadows the sheer, raw power of God.

In Genesis 1:1, the first name of God in the Bible appears: "In the beginning, God*..."

"Elohim" holds the unusual property of being a plural noun—used with singular verbs; it is the first-and-foremost portrayal of the Trinity in the Christian biblical texts. The name bases itself in the Hebrew for "strength" or "power", and is the name for the creator god*.

Also, variations of this Hebrew word show many of the aspects of the character of God*.

NOTE: When I use "God" (with a capitalized 'G'), I reference the character, name, and personality of the god of Abraham; when I use "god" (with no capital lettering), it is a reference to the loose concept of a deity in general, of any existing god, regardless of character, power, or other descriptions.