Quiet, sunny, cool enough for snuggling . . .
Quiet, sunny, cool enough for snuggling . . .
It was a trying day.
I sat down to decompress
And thoughts swirled about me
Like a tornado
On a path to destruction.
I couldn’t escape them.
There you were.
Your loving nudge went unnoticed,
Then you reached out again
With a loving touch
That kissed my very soul within me.
My focus on you was divided at first,
But again you reached out to me
And you were both gentle and strong.
The tornado of emotion passed me by.
There were no words,
Nor any sound at all between us,
But your touch restored me
And I met yours with my own,
Reminded of God’s love
By the affection of a greyhound . . .
Why can’t a servant of God
Run on four legs?
Today, one did.
By Martha L Shaw – © 5-2-2013
A visit with my friend Kim’s dog inspired this poem. Pictured here are both her dog and my friend Mary’s dog. Retired greyhounds make wonderful family pets. For more information on adopting a greyhound, visit this site: http://www.adoptcharlestongreys.org/
– Pema Chodron –
The above quote caught my eye not because of its wisdom but because of its hopeful optimism and its utterly unrealistic claim. I wonder, as you read my words just now, how you initially responded? Have you clicked “escape” and gone onto another blog? Do you think, though, that maybe I am onto something?
You see, I agree with Pema that we do spend much time and energy focusing on what other people are doing, but honestly, whether it can be admitted or not, perhaps in our secret hearts we know that it is not always our intent to ponder how our actions can affect their hearts. In our own secret hearts, we all too often are comparing ourselves, our circumstances, our achievements, our gifts, our possessions, and more to theirs and perhaps some of you might secretly agree that to many of us this becomes not inspiration to be a positive influence but in actuality causes us to feel we don’t measure up. We want the shiny car, we think we deserve that undefinable something more, and we often spend far too many hours, days, or years seeking a prize that we do not ever find. Oh, we can get the shiny car if we save enough money, and if we study hard, we can get a fancy ribbon . . . if we practice long and hard, we can get the award for our shelf. “Now they’ll see!” The problem is, as long as our motivation is to get these things to satisfy what we lack, we will never be satisfied. These are not what’s missing . . .
Where are we going? Are we almost there? Do we have the right map to get there?
Those questions need to be answered before we can have a chance of “getting there” at all. They cannot be answered by looking out the window. They can only be answered by looking deep within. What we find there is what truly has the power to make a difference in others, in ourselves, in the world.
The greyhound chasing the rabbit . . . does he ever really catch what he chases? If he catches the rabbit, what then? Was it worth the effort? Yet, he keeps chasing . . . and so do we. I checked the map I carried. It wasn’t the one I needed. So, my life is on a new path from the original one. I have been on it a while and I”m not there yet, but oh the journey is like nothing else has ever been!
7 How beautiful on the mountains
are the feet of those who bring good news,
who proclaim peace,
who bring good tidings,
who proclaim salvation,
who say to Zion,
“Your God reigns!”
We are all, as Christians, commissioned to be the light of Christ to others. What does this mean? Does it require resources I do not have? Do I have to know the Bible from memory? Do I need to be free to travel to the far reaches of the world? Do I need to donate “seeds” of money to all those television preachers who claim this is my obligation? Do I have to be an amazing preacher like my dear friend and priest, Rick? Do I need to lead Cursillo Weekends like my friends Jay and Sue so often do? Is it complicated? What if . . . . and then again, what if . . . .
Today, I have seen the light of Christ reflected in the eyes or written words of both friends and strangers alike. Much of what I’ve seen is not complicated, doesn’t require an MDiv, and didn’t involve specific mention of any Bible verse, but did indeed reflect His love and joy very clearly and profoundly to me.
Then I used my cell phone to surf online and found a post by a friend who also blogs here in Word Press. My friend has a tender heart for all God’s creatures and devotes time and other resources to several causes important to her, especially to greyhounds. These precious beasts are raised by “business” breeders who profit by encouraging racing . . . and thus produce dogs who often end up neglected or killed when they are no longer “useful.” This breaks my friend’s heart. It breaks many hearts. Does it matter? The Bible tells us that whatever we do to the least of these . . . surely, you realize that our Lord loves the birds of the air and also these beautiful greyhounds. Surely, like my friend, He cries when they’re abused? I think so. Please read her blog entry and share it with others – the small things we do combined together through the efforts of many can make a big difference. Click the link below to view her post.