Last Thursday afternoon, Keith recorded a church devotion to live stream Friday morning. Upon playback, he realized our dog Heathcliff had gotten into the act.

Here’s the script and video of his unscripted moment:


Keith: Good morning my brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus! My name is Keith Kenny. We come together for a devotional thought from the Word of our Lord and prayer. Let’s begin by gathering in the name of our God: In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The Word of the LORD for us this morning is from the Gospel according to Matthew, “Immediately [Jesus] made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, ‘It is a ghost!’ and they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.’

And Peter answered him, ‘Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.’ He said, ‘Come.’

[Heathcliff gets up and heads to the stairs off screen.]

Keith: So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, ‘Lord, save me.’

[Heathcliff shakes, and we hear the sound of his collar tags.]

Keith: Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’ And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God’” (Matt. 14:22-33).

KeithandHeathcliff050820[Heathcliff walks to Keith’s left, stands, and wags his tail.]

Keith: Often our prayers spell out our petitions in great detail. We ask for successful surgeries, quick recoveries, safety in storms or financial miracles. We want our heavenly Father to know, and rightly so, every detail of our hopes and fears. With the psalmist we say, “I pour out my soul” (Ps. 42:4)…

[Heathcliff lies down on the dog bed to Keith’s right and settles for the duration of the video.]


“Come, save me, Son of God.”

Heathcliff, old and arthritic, listening and faithful to his master.


  1. Marianne Reichelt

    Dear Carole, it is a lovely gift to see Keith — and Heathcliff — in person! Heathcliff seems extremely responsive to the Scripture! I would have guessed nothing less. Please thank Keith for his prayer and reflection. Last week that exact gospel felt so life-saving for me — I think God was trying to send me reinforcement through Keith’s message. Love and thanks to both of you!

    • Carole Duff

      So good to hear from you Marianne! Heathcliff is a natural therapy dog—he senses things humans might miss and has done so all his life. As for the devotion, Keith is one of our church elders and as such records a devotion provided by our pastor about every two weeks. We’re glad to know that the message comforted you—hopefully many others, too. God’s peace. Love, Carole

  2. Loved by the King of kings

    It looks to me like Heathcliff heard his master say, “Come,” and moseyed on in to obey. Sweet dog.😊

  3. bigskybuckeye

    Carole, you couldn’t have scripted this scene any better. With Keith’s focus on the Word, Heathcliff reminds me of the restlessness we sometimes feel in our lives. We need a calm place to rest, at the feet of Jesus.


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