Friday, May 21, 2010

Ghost of a Dog

Disclaimer: What you about to read has no foundation in biblical truth. It is just a way to work through a hard day. I am writing for me.

When I stepped out of the tunnel that pulled me dancing toward the light it was not as I expected it to be.I knew I would not see Saint Peter. There was nothing in the Bible that suggested that, just an opener for the jokes I often had heard on earth. I had thought that I would first see Jesus and I would place my crown at His feet, He would put His hand under my downcast chin and bring my face up to meet His gaze and then He would say "Well done my good and faithful servant. Enter into my rest." At least that is what I hoped He would say. I also thought that my mother and grandmother and all those who had gone on before me would be there for my homecoming. But that is not how it was.
What really surprised me was not what I saw but what I heard. It was faint at first and coming from a distance. But as the sound grew closer I knew what it was and who was about to greet me. I opened my eyes and there she was! No longer gaunt and weary but strong and joyous like I remembered her in her earlier days. Not so long ago. She yelped that special bark that said "I am so happy that you are home! I have been waiting all day to see you!" Her tail that had been permanently bent in the closing of the car door was once again straight as it now thumped loudly as her whole being joined in her welcome song. Just as she had done on earth. No matter how bad an earth day had been when I came in the door she was there to make me feel loved and important. Never one time did she raise a snarled lip or offer a low growl. She was always kind hearted...even on earth. She thought the grandchildren were her puppies and protected them. One time putting herself between a one year old toddler and the earthly fish pond to prevent her from falling in. Other times lying directly beside whatever sleeping baby was in the house knowing it was her job to protect and defend. My husband taking her on her evening walks would marvel at the way the old dog would grab his sleve and gently tug on it to say "I'm ready! Let's go!" I would marvel how she could hear his truck from a long way off and come and find me where ever I was in the house and like the famous Lassie dog of yesteryear she would "yip!yip!" and turn and run to the front door.She would continue her request to be let out so that she could greet her master. In the weeks before she left she faded a lot.We knew it was getting closer to her time. My husband made an appointment to have her checked out. I was in the garden with her and she paused to drink from the fish pond. I once again marvelled how the gold fish came right up to her and thought "I need to get a picture of this." An hour later my husband came home. I called down the stairs "What did he say?" He replied "She's gone." "Gone?Where?" I replied. He looked up to me on the stairs where I was waiting and not understanding what he had just said. "Gone!She's gone???!!! What do you mean???" and I sat right there on the steps and cried like child.
She ran in a large circle needing to release some of her pent up excitement then paused by a pond to lap it's cool water as the goldfish rose to her mouth and puckered up as she licked their heads. It was only right that she would be the first to greet me. She was always the first to greet me. Memories of the hard day I had and the long journey I just taken faded as she tugged on my sleeve and pulled me on."Yip, Yip" she barked. It was her special bark. The one that says "Hurry! It's time to go see the Master!" It's good to be home.

Monday, May 17, 2010

What is real? ( A blog that somehow never posted last year)

I am finding that some things are just more 'real' than other things. It is in those real places that I find a deep peace and satisfaction. It is real to pull up raishes in the garden, rinse it off an take a bite. It is real to hold my newest grandchild in my arms and pray over her and then pass her to the next person in the family circle as we all bless her and speak her name and join with her father as he prays for her life. It is real to put out oranges and nuts in the bird feeder and watch them disappear over night. It is real to have goldfish nibble on your fingers in the garden pond.It is even real to watch the egrat circle my home knowing that one of my goldfish may soon be lunch for the hungry bird. It is real to turn over the compost pile and see life squiggle and squirm and retreat from the sunlight.
It is real to feel the smooth seaglass in my hands as I twist the wire and create something that people desire from something that others discarded. It is real to have dirt under my finger nails as afternoon becomes twilight. It is real to go to Target and purchase 900 diapers with money collected in one night and it is real to push into duffle bags. It is real knowing that next week I will see on Face Book these same diapers in the hands of many who have been displaced by the very real earthquake.
I have finally leared, for real, that so much of what we consider important is just not real. In America the complaint "We have nothing to eat." is not real.. Or when we say "I have nothing to wear." or "I have nothing to do."
I don't believe God ever intended for us to be so far removed from reality. Movies and magazines. Over eatting. The pursuit of endless entertainment. In loosing touch with what is real we have lost our ability to understand the world around us.