21 November 2011

Hypothesis forming

I cannot prove this, but I desperately want it to be true:
Dogs need to be part of the kingdom of heaven.

They heal. They amuse. They sometimes frustrate. They accompany. They comfort. They beg. They play. And in the case of our dog, I would be remiss to not mention, they poop and pee.

One of the things I appreciate most about our dog is that he does not complain. When he is under the weather, he might not eat as much, but he does not whine or even really moan about anything. He still wags his tail. He still goes for walks.

I also appreciate how he keeps me company. He sits beside me and tends to follow me wherever I go. Yes, he is a bit needy sometimes, but for the most part, he simply is present and wants to be near me. As a result, his listening skills are also top notch. Really. An occasional interruption if he sees a squirrel or cat, but that is it. He simply hears what I say. He keeps advice giving to a minimum, too. It's remarkable.

Probably my favorite thing is how he greets me when I return home. He is ALWAYS waiting for me at the door and is always happy to see me. What a fabulous homecoming.

Yes, this dog, and probably yours, too, is an extension of grace in the midst of a sometimes cold world. I hope they are part of the kingdom of God to come, too!

14 November 2011

no easy answer

When I was unemployed a few years ago, it challenged me to respond to the question, "what do you do?" I began detesting meeting new people, which, is quite out of character for me, and imagined ways to avoid the question, much less the answer, at all costs.

Currently I am developing a similar aversion to the question of how am I doing. People mean well. It is a courtesy question, I know. Sometimes we do not even really spend the time to hear the answer. The easiest (most palatable?) and most acceptable reply is "good" or "okay." And whether people would admit this or not, I think people WANT that response. I do.

In my mind, really, I desperately want to be okay.
And for the most part, I am okay.
But there is a part of me that is off.

It is the part of me that absolutely panics when I pass another car, wondering if my car will swerve and nick even the slightest section of the car I am passing. It is the part of me that perspires because another car is speeding up to pull ahead of me only to brake and I anxiously wonder if my car will actually brake on time. It is the part of me that crumbles and cries because B mentions test driving another car and I realize again that "my" car is probably lost to me forever.

I am more comfortable when people are okay, or good. And honestly, I am more comfortable if I can honestly say okay or good myself.

But for now, I am not there. And I am going to have to be okay with that in order to move closer to "normal" if such a destination even exists! Yet another lesson in the time grace takes.