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.”