Thursday, May 5, 2011

God Sendings

I’ve been having fun with metaphors that reveal (at least to me) truths I cannot otherwise comprehend. To date, these “God Sendings” have fallen into categories. I already recently posted a series about Lilies -- now I am posting the first of three about Edges.

The Edge of Anger

The phone rang on a Saturday afternoon. “Emergency prayer request,” blasted through the line from Canada. “A coyote attacked our dog, and we’re not sure he’s going to make it.” My knees sank. “I’m on the floor,” I said, because I was. For some reason, the plight a dog can break my heart quicker than just about anything. I don’t know why, but I know that I have a heart for dogs. This one, far away on a farm in Canada, I’ve never met, but I love him, powerful and beautiful hound, made to run. I would think he would run every day way up there in the country, but my friends who moved their family to this farm do not feel the same way. I guess Bailey is a hunting hound, so he lives outside. In a pen.

This does not jive with my beloved friend, mother of many, whose maternal and nurturing skills are excellent. For some reason, these instincts are not applicable to Bailey. A farm animal to her I guess, like the horse and the chickens and the sheep. A tool for hunting, I guess they think. But I don’t, and it breaks my heart. Every time I think of these friends, this beloved loving family, these friends of mine, every single time I cry. I cry for Bailey, made to gallop through the countryside, whose coat is thin, too thin to be kept outside in Canada, whose heart is to love and be loved.

Here in Connecticut I have a neighbor who also keeps her little Scottie dogs outside. Unfortunately, coyotes have returned to this area as well, coyotes who roam the marshes, living off whatever they can find including, at last count, five neighborhood cats. People, I’m told, have brains. But they let their cats out and keep their little Scotties in the backyard every night. And then a lady in Florida, forced to evacuate her Florida home, put her dog in the basement, which flooded. The coyotes roam.

Then suddenly, the Emergency Prayer Request. Bailey has been attacked, six children are screaming in horror, blood is gushing everywhere. The dad of the family, plus the eldest child, drive as fast as they can to the emergency clinic more than an hour away. I go to the floor and pray.

I cannot bear this. For some reason, this kind of pain is excruciating to me. Now comes an update: they may have to amputate Bailey’s right hind leg. I pray pray pray, noticing a tinge of frustration toward my beloved friends. Thank You, Jesus, Bailey is miraculously spared. Miraculously is an understatement. The news comes that Bailey is back home, that he is mending well, and that he still has all four legs.

“Praise God,” I write to my friends. ”Thank You, Jesus, for letting Bailey live. Oh how I pray for you and your family against the memories of the attack – and that Bailey is now safe from harm. Could it be you are entertaining an angel?” What I really wanted to say was, “Is he in the backyard? If so, we’ll take him.”

Lord told me not to ask, but to pray because prayer is sufficient. God was showing me that helping Bailey would not end my sorrow. There were millions of dogs suffering out there. What was I going to do – adopt every last one? Fervent prayers of a righteous person availeth much.

It hurts to envision Bailey back outside in the pen freezing cold and terrified to be returned to the place he was attacked -- cold, vulnerable, unable to run. Truly my heart ached to watch helplessly in my mind. The sorrow of my heart made my heart and body curl. At times I truly thought it was more than I could bear. And then God said,

“That’s how I feel about people.”


  1. Love this - very powerful! You're not the only one praying for Bailey to be inside now :)

  2. You've done it again....or still. If this does not move eyes to see and hearts to know the great LOVE God has for us.....then, I daresay, human words are hopeless.Thanks be to God who gives us unshakable,unending HOPE... in Jesus!

  3. Thank yo, guys! A blog conversation is finally emerging, and synchronistically, your comments are coming at a time when three of my favorite people are in the hospital (ages 88-90 years old) and in dire straits. It does assure my heart to know that these beloveds KNOW in their KNOWERS that Jesus is both Savior and Lord. What a blessing it is for them (and us) to know that death for the Believer is just "stepping over the comma" to be fully with Him in the heavenlies at last -- and that soon (very soon!) we will all be reunited!

  4. Have you ever voiced your thoughts to your friends in Canada as clearly as your blog comments? I know many hunters who keep their dogs inside and spoil them with love because that engenders a loyalty and desire for the dog to please. In our area, ( South Carolina ) hunting dogs are precious and in many cases are part of the family ( inside ). God grieves over any separaton we bring into our relationship with Him. How He longs to be on the inside of our hearts.

  5. Yes -- hopefully, but this actually happened several years ago, so I just entrust it all to God, who is trustworthy. Thanks for showing up on my blog and helping breathe life into it...

  6. I am in contact with a friend across the seas who at the moment is in chronic pain, with a disease practically unknown, and all I can do is to be here, online, and listen. His wife has been drained of all sympathy and cannot cope with the situation, or him; he is unemployed, depressed and as things stand, unemployable - and he has a son, who, he is afraid, he is unable to help become all he could be if his father were well.
    Advice is pointless and would be hurtful - like with Job.
    The helplessness is intense because the silence is so great.
    How big God's heart is, to be able to to carry all this agony. And may He enlarge our hearts too, to enable us to carry others' burdens.

  7. Amen, and I agree, and I join you, standing in the gap for this suffering Beloved. I am grateful that God has proven HImself to us, so that we know we know He will work even this to the Good. I want to like Job, who said "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in HIm." Job's faith inspires me to stand in the gap for those who are suffering in pain of any kind! I truly feel compassion for how hard inescapable suffering is, having just come through some myself, so I pray reading 2 Corinthians, Chapter 1. I will persevere in prayer because I do believe that prayer is the battle. I stand with you, in Him! God's will is done! May Christ be glorified in and through this circumstance (and so many other similar circumstance that are happening over here). Thank you, Lord, for the high honor of joining in prayers before Our Father -- thank You that we know we are in the heavenlies even now -- in Christ by His Holy Spirit. We watch and wait in loyal love for You, Lord Christ, who intercedes for us who live in You. We trust You, even in such a time as this. In fact it may be that we were born or such a time as this. Bless my sister over in Germany and she feel Your assurance and comfort and calm, that You have the entire world in Your hands. Amen and amen!

  8. Thank you Whitney - I am pressing in to Him, knowing that nothing is impossible with Him... and my confidence is growing. Thank you for joining me - I do appreciate it so much. Father, NOTHING is too hard for you - enable us to travail in the Spirit and work with you - seeing Glory come to you because of this situation. So be it!

  9. Are those who suffer more blessed than those who don't? I don't have the answer yet, but things are not always the way they seem, huh. Romans 8:32
    "He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?"

  10. Hey Today's Bible Nancy! In response to your very excellent question, I have a phrase to share" "tribulation blessing." I totally think that suffering is a blessing in bringing me closer to Him, clinging to Him even -- exposing more clearly my need for Him, my powerless, His power. Have you read a book by Larry Crabb called "Shattered Dreams?" If not, let me know and I'll e-mail you my book highlights. It deals really well with this question (at least I thought so)...