Last week I shared how one of my high-maintenance customers at the dry cleaner provided me a glimpse of compassion through God's eyes. This week I'm going to share different experience that gave me another glimpse of how God sees things. My dog Watson, who some of you may remember from an earlier post, is our star this week.
A couple of years ago my childhood family met for Christmas. We gathered at my mother's house. My sister and her husband, Don, drove in from Oklahoma and my brother Terry's family lived close by. My family arrived from Northern New Mexico and we all anticipated a wonderful holiday and mini-reunion.
The only tricky part was that my family had our three small terriers in tow and my sister's 85 pound Airedale, Margo, had accompanied her and Don from Oklahoma. Margo is a real sweetheart but she does not tolerate other dogs very well. During our visit we were careful to keep the dogs in separate rooms and on different rotations to the backyard. All went well, but, as will happen, we had a slip; Watson had not gotten completely out of a room before Margo was let in. Margo saw 15 pound Watson and hit him like a freight train.
It all happened so fast. Margo grabbed Watson by the neck and started tossing him around like a rag doll. Because of Don's quick reaction the attack was somewhat thwarted, but not until Watson had been slammed against the tile floor several times and his tooth knocked out. Once he was free, I scooped him up in my arms and ran with him to a back room where I cradled and comforted him.
I discovered that the blood on his fur was the result of the unfortunate tooth. And, by the grace of God, I realized that Margo's teeth had clamped around Watson's collar instead of his neck. If she had grabbed him by the neck, he probably would not have survived the attack.
At this point in the story we can easily relate to and see the similarities between me cradling Watson and God scooping us up in His mighty arms and cradling us when we need comfort. But, what happened later is what gave me an understanding of God that I had never experienced before.
Once Watson quit shaking I called the local animal emergency clinic. After I described what had happened and how Watson was acting, they didn't think they needed to see him. However, they did tell me that he would probably be sore for a few days.
Because of Watson's fearful temperment and prior abuse, we thought that he would be more comfortable in his kennel where he could rest and have some quiet time after the trauma. It was then that he let us know he was sore; he snapped at us when we attempted to lift him into his kennel. It was several days before we were able to touch him again.
The tricky part was that we had to travel back home while he was sore. When we travel our dogs usually lay in the seat and sleep, but under the circumstances we couldn't take a chance that Watson would bite one of us in such close quarters. So, for our safety and Watson's comfort, he traveled in his kennel in our camper shell. We made him as comfortable as we could, but this was the first time he had ever traveled outside the "first-class" accommodations of the cab and apart from us. It was this scenario that helped me see "through God's eyes."
Watson had suffered a great hurt and because of the lingering pain it was hard for anyone to get close enough to offer him any comfort. Watson probably felt abandoned in the back of the truck, but we were only a few feet away and we did have his best interest at heart. We were with him despite the fact he probably felt very alone. But time and a little healing would allow us, once again, to touch and be with him.
How often do we experience some type of hurt making us feel lonely and even abandoned by God? Sometimes when our trauma is "fresh" we make it hard for others, including God, to get close enough to embrace us. But God is there! When I thought of poor, sore Watson all alone in the back of our truck, it dawned on me that we sometimes experience the same thing with God, but He is there...taking care of us in the background. Just like we were concerned for Watson and doing the best thing for him, God is always concerned for us and does what is best for us. Always! But sometimes, we need to heal a little before we will let Him scoop us up in his arms.
After about three days, Watson's pain began to subside and things returned to normal. We could scratch his head, pick him up, and play. He even started romping with our other two terriers again.
Practical Christianity understands that God is always present, even when He is taking care of us at a distance. I'm sorry that Watson was attacked, but I am thankful that I was able to see the situation "through God's eyes."