A common theme in my life for the past few years has been letting go of control. Multiple injustices, unfairnesses, have landed in my lap, and I have an innate sense of fairness, of justice, a belief that you reap what you sow. You do indeed, but many of us miss the complexity of those words, the way time influences them, the way the enemy comes to steal and destroy, the way seeds often fall on hard ground, the way we store our treasures up in heaven. Volumes could be written applying context to just that one phrase, you reap what you sow.
I am a bit of a pit bull, or perhaps a moray eel, as in you clamp your teeth down and hang on, like a dog with a bone. This is a good thing sometimes, the only problem being that some dog’s jaws will lock and they cannot break their grip of their own accord.
So one of life’s injustices is that my mother has come to live with us, a challenging situation indeed. She has always been challenging, but as she ages she has become extra-special challenging. She has also kidnapped our dog and is holding him hostage. It’s not all bad, she is bonding to the dog in a way I have never seen her bond with people.
So the other day she is out walking the dog and he got attacked by a pitbull. So, the poor little guy is stuck in this pitbull’s mouth being shaken about, when the brave girl who was walking him, stuck her hand in the dogs mouth to break his grip. She cut herself up pretty good, but she probably saved our dog’s life.
This is one of those numerous unfair, unjust things I just cannot control, like I was at work at the time, like I can neither protect my mother or my dog, nor can I force people to walk their own dogs on a leash, nor can I afford to rush to the doggie ER. So all I could do was try to triage, try to guess the extent of the dog’s injuries, clean him up a bit and hope he survived the night before I took him to the vet. It was serious, but I guestimated not critical.
The next morning my mother comes out in tears and says, he didn’t make it. He’s cold and stiff. So my heart just breaks, I’m now doubting my triage abilities, I’m thinking no way, I checked him out pretty good, he was up and walking, eating and drinking, I can’t be this off in my judgement. I kid you not, I rush into my mother’s room, and there is the dog, lying on her bed like a cartoon character with all four legs sticking up in the air and his tongue hanging out the side of his mouth. He is so clearly playing dead, I just burst out laughing. He’s good at it too, because he’s holding himself very stiff and frozen and refusing to budge.
The little turd. My mother is still crying and I swear the dog looked over at me and just rolled his eyes, as if he knew he was playing off everyone’s emotions and having a grand old time noting how easy it is to manipulate people.
So, long story sort, he managed to jump in the car, I got him some antibiotics and I think he’s going to be fine.
What isn’t so fine is the criticism from the whole world, the whole entire world I tell ya, the vet, the neighbors, my mother, my child, the endless and enduring advice, well, you should have done something differently……I don’t know what it is about people, but so many of us are like sideline quarterbacks, quick to heap on “useful” advice and to instruct other people about what they really should be doing.
I’ve gotten rather hostile about all this “help.” I need mercy and grace and the Lord’s self control, because I frequently have the urge to tell people to just shut the heck up. You do not walk in anyone’s shoes, you do not know that they haven’t already made the best possible decision they could have. Seriously, it would be far more effective to just bounce chocolate off people’s heads, than to advise them about what they “should have done.” Or, we could always just try encouraging one another…..
Anyway, yesterday was a real bugger. I had to let 70 sleeping dogs lie. Reminds me of that old song, “Four that want to own me, two that want to stone me, and one says she’s a friend of mine.”