“A single act of love makes the soul return to life.” –St. Maximilian Kolbe
Maybe it’s the fact that I am trying to kick a diet coke habit. Perhaps it’s because my fridge repair guy has cancelled for the 2nd time. I’m not entirely sure the reason, but I can say for certain that I wasn’t in any jeopardy of being accused of excessive holiness this morning.
I was focused on a long list of priorities to manage and errands to run. On the top of my pile are multiple sets of some ridiculous forms the kid’s school has been pestering me for…..FOREVER.
I wanted to shout, “My kids haven’t changed doctors, they still aren’t allergic to anything, we haven’t moved, and our cell phone numbers remain the same. Yes, you can give my kid a Tylenol if he has a headache. We still don’t care which number you’re going to use on the phone tree that has never been used in my last 10 years at this school… and last but not least….our language preference is still ENGLISH! Why can’t we just click a box that says SAME AS LAST YEAR?!”
These are the things that drive me crazy. Between them and the incessantly barking neighbor dogs, it was just getting to me. Clearly, I thought, I have lost it. I need to go get sweaty and work off the anger management problem that seems to be lathering up.
As I drove my blue minivan towards the gym, I noticed the car ahead of me had pulled to the side of the road and stopped. There she was– an anguished, gray-haired hysterical woman– in the middle of the street. Inching closer, I could hear her crying and see that there was a dog lying motionless at her feet. She was inconsolable. Oh gosh.
The traffic began to backup on the busy road, but everyone gave her respectful space. It was truly a poignant scene, which made my heart hurt and brought me out of myself. Making my way out of the area after a few minutes, I found myself asking God to bring this stranger peace of heart. It was hard to watch her pain, as she was so raw with emotion, and it remains with me still.
That said, I think it’s worth confessing that I, myself, am not really a dog fan (as you may have inferred in the earlier paragraph). I have never quite connected with the animal lovers of the world. I am fully aware of the obvious flaw in character that I am revealing when I share this, by the way. That said, a friend who knows this about me smiled a bit at my sugary sentimentality over the woman and her lost canine companion from this morning. She explained to me that a good dog loves you when no one else does, is always happy to see you and she said, “sometimes, nothing feels better than being loved even when you don’t deserve it.”
LIGHT BULB MOMENT.
God loves me even when I don’t feel lovely. He loves me when I feel abandoned and ignored. Always. No matter what.
God uses dogs too? They are instruments of His love. Just like amazing girlfriends, loving spouses, freckle-faced kids, beautiful sunsets, and knockout roses.
Notice how when you start remembering to love others, think of them before yourself, you come out of yourself and suddenly what seemed so bothersome is much less noticeable? When I began to earnestly pray for Ruth and her dog Buddy this morning, I forgot all about my lack of ice cubes and my stack of forms.
Here’s a little scriptural wisdom I could probably use to have tattooed to my arm.
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8
I’m going to work on it. It’s that whole concept of thinking more about loving the next guy first, before myself, that gives me fits. Sometimes I wonder if I am hopeless. Pretty sure, for example that I need a ladle full of extra grace to overcome the incessantly barking dogs thing.
God did point out to me today that dogs can rather beautifully serve His purpose. It’s funny how loud he yells sometimes, so, I’ll try.
What does He yell at you about?