Thursday, April 22, 2010
The Prodigal Dog
I'm not sure what this blog has to do with my resolution list except for the fact that I am typing this blog instead of eating Easter candy and that applies to resolution #4. And now, on with the Michelle Show
FACT: Pets are a gift from God
In the summer of 2008, an energetic, black and brown spotted female beagle wandered into our yard, and we all quickly fell in love with her. After about ten minutes, of experiencing her strong-willed-stubborn-feminist, “personality” we decided to name her Xena, Xena, the Warrior Princess. After two weeks of a good, honest effort to find her owners to no avail, we decided to adopt her…..later that day, before we registered her, she vanished.
Fast forward to 6 weeks ago, Spring of 2010. My kids really want a dog. They keep reminiscing about Xena. John and I are not sure if we are ready for the responsibility of a pet (I can‘t even keep our house plants alive). I tell the kids to pray about it and that God will bless us with the right dog for our family in HIS time, not ours, after all He cares about the little things. One week later we are in Church and instead of doing his sermon, Pastor Phill decides to let us all have an entire service of nothing but prayer and praise. I feel foolish as I silently pray for a dog. Fifteen minutes pass and church is over. The kids and I walk home and John has a smile on his face, “Got a present for you in the back yard,” he says.
It is an energetic, black and brown spotted female beagle…..it is in fact, Xena! I say in astonishment, “I was just praying for a dog!”
John says, “About how long ago were you praying?”
“About 10 or 15 minutes ago in Church.”
“Really?” says John, “That’s about the time she wandered into the yard.”
FACT: God listens….and sometimes answers with humor
After a couple of days with Xena, the sequel, and trying to find her owner on our own, we call the pound to find out if we can keep her. They tell us that they will pick her up and hold her for 2 weeks. If no one claims her in two weeks, she is ours. When I get home from work that day she is gone and I assume the pound has picked her up-----they hadn’t, she ran away. Garrett begins to cry (he is only three years old after all) as I am putting on his little shoes at the front door so that we can pick up Isabelle from school. “Mom, I really want God to send us a dog,” he says between sobs.
“Lets just keep praying and God will find us another dog, okay? Dear Jesus, please bring us a dog to love and to take care of, Amen.” I open the front door to go out to the car and Xena literally jumps in the front door and onto Garrett.
She has been running away and returning again every time we pray, ever since.
FACT: God speaks through animals…
….and I’m not just referring to God talking through his donkey to Balaam in the book of Numbers chapter 22 (wow, that was really difficult not to replace the word “donkey“ with “ass”). I am talking about God using animals or what ever else it takes to speak to us, since humans are so thick headed.
You would think that since I am still in the Old Testament, inching my way towards finishing resolution #6, that I would be learning about God’s wrath, but what I am learning the most, is that if I want to see God, and understand Him better all I need to do is look around. We have all heard the metaphor that humans are like sheep and Jesus is the ultimate shepherd, but what I have learned is that humans are like dogs, energetic, black and brown spotted female beagle dogs to be exact.
Here is what I see when I look out my window at all of the holes Xena has dug to get out of our yard: Xena wants free will, in her mind she is smart enough to make her own decisions. I love her too much to keep her on a leash, and I don’t want to force her to stay in my presence, I want her to WANT to be here. So she goes. I am a little sad because I know that it is best for her to be in the confines of our yard where I can feed her, love on her, and protect her from danger. As time passes I go from sad to a little angry. I have given her everything and she has thrown it away! I wait. Eventually she returns-dirty, hungry, and probably defiled (knowing the other male dogs in this neighborhood), but nonetheless I am ecstatic to see her again! My little girl is back! I feed her, clean her, and enjoy the time I have with her until she leaves again….because she will. She is only a Dog and she doesn’t know better, and even though I do, I will not say “I told you so” I will just wait.