It was interesting being lectured by our daughter about how to take care of their dog last week. To listen to her, it sounded like she was handing over a 90 pound infant child. Hey, we’ve had dogs our entire marriage. Bart was the let’s see if we can take care of a dog, dog and maybe we can take care of a child. Briggs was the dog who helped everyone in our family through our children’s adolescents. Sadie was the dog we had for a short time that managed to wreak more havoc than the other two put together. And Otto is the dog Katie and I are taking care of together now that the kids are gone.
As you can see dogs are one way I define different times in my family and our relationships. We’ve also had cats but that is a very, very different subject for me.
Strangely this week as I was getting use to Weston, I was remembering the dog my mother had after my father died. Her name was Snowball. I don’t have a picture to post of Snowball. The name is all you need to know. She was a very small white ball of fur. By the time my mom got Snowball, all of five of her sons were out of the house. My dad, who required constant care, was being cared for by God. Honestly, I think my mom needed something to be around her so that she could love it.
This week I saw someone from church walking her dog while I was driving home. I stopped and chatted with them about a funeral I was about to officiate and found out her dog is a therapy dog. (That is a dog that has been trained to be with folks who are sick or in hospice.) This woman was telling me that her dog had recently been visiting with a man just before he died. I surprised both of us when I said, “That is a great ministry.” but you know it is! I surprised the woman because I used the word “ministry”. I surprised myself when I realized I was talking about both the woman and the dog.
For my entire adult life I’ve believed that God provides us with what we need to adapt, endure and adjust in our lives. One of those things that I’ve recognized that I need is the kind of love my mother possessed, a sort of endless well that overflowed and needed to be shared. Sometimes we need different images to really let that sink in and perhaps that is why on this Sunday many of us celebrate and remember our mothers. And others of us on other days, not totally jokingly say, “You know, God spelled backwards is “d-o-g.”
Keep the Faith!
Mac and Cheese Update! We are half way there! We have collected 523 boxes of our 1,000 goal! Don’t get comfortable until we’ve gone over our goal!