Mandy Baker Johnson

Living without Shadows


‘What’s the first thing that comes into your head when I say the word loyal?’ I asked Adi.


Strangely enough, it was the first word that came into my head too.

The most loyal dog I can think of is Greyfriars Bobby in Edinburgh. If I remember the story correctly, Bobby was so loyal to his master that even after the man had died Bobby remained by the grave and had to be fed by the kind people of the city.

I googled the meaning of loyal: giving or showing firm and constant support or allegiance.

Synonyms (other words meaning the same thing) for loyal are faithful, true-hearted, devotion.

Those words describe the loyalty of a dog, who is often called a man’s best friend. Certainly my brother’s dog Ben had eyes for only one master, my brother. Even after my brother married and passed Ben onto me, whenever he visited Ben would leap around him barking and yelping, tail wagging till it nearly came off. We were left in no doubt where Ben’s true heart lay.

Change the letters of the word dog and you get God.

Loyal, faithful, true-hearted, devoted: all words that describe God’s character and the way He feels about us.

He is devoted to us long before we’re aware of Him. I read a beautiful story online recently of how a girl suffering with anorexia bulimia was aware of Jesus’ presence beside her as she was sticking her fingers down her throat over the toilet. This was before she knew Jesus the Person who loved her.

I had the amazing privilege of being able to tell a group of women in the sex industry how Jesus is crackers about them and how He would have chosen to hang out with them when He was a man on earth (not to use them or get anything from them but simply to be with them because He saw precious people made in His image).

The more I realise how intensely faithful God is to me, the more I fall in love with Him. He’s the Best. Whoop!


  1. Visiting from FMF. Another winner … as usual. I had a “dog/God” moment as well, on my wedding day! I’m convinced to this day my encounter with the loyal dog was God blessing my pending marriage. He gave us 40 years!

    • Mandy

      30/08/2016 at 9:42 am

      Hi Joe, nice to welcome you back. That sounds really intriguing… You could have a story there.

  2. Hello Mandy. I’m also visiting from FMF, and enjoyed reading your post and your “About” page. I love the dog-God comment; what a creative way to link the two thoughts. Have a wonderful day!

    • Mandy

      30/08/2016 at 9:43 am

      Hi Ann, lovely to welcome you from FMF. Thanks for your encouragement. Hope you have a great day today 🙂

  3. Great post, Mandy, and I love the picture! (You’re right about Greyfriars Bobby…and his is not an isolated case.)

    When I think on ‘loyalty’, I am reminded of a story that comes from an epic poem that forms the prologue of the Bhagavad Gita:

    It seems that there was a haughty prince who died and set out on the journey to the pearly gates. His walk took him through some dark and scary passages; a kind of purgatory, as he had been a bad man.

    In the worst of moments, a dog appeared at his side, and together, fallen man ind innocent companion, they walked on, the prince who has disdained the keeping of pets, strangely heartened by this need friend.

    Presently the road began to ascend, and before he was quite ready, the prince and the dog stood together at the Gates of Heaven.

    St. Peter (or the Hindu version thereof) greeted the prince, congratulated him on finding his way to the home we has to visit for the first time, and then said, “Dude, about the dog…Heaven’s for people. You gotta leave him, dude. Rules are rules.”

    The prince was aghast, and looking into the dog’s questioning eyes said, “If I abandon this companion and friend I will not be the kind of man who could enjoy Heaven. So sorry, Pete. Sorry to have wasted your time.”

    Whereupon St. Peter gave a great shout and flung wide the gate. “You’re right! Had you left him you would not have been fit to enter…and now, both of you, inside! The party’s just and eternally starting!”

    And as the prince and dog walked side by side into Heaven, what do think they heard?


    #2 at FMF this week.

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