Someone new has come to live at our house. We think he’s rather special, even though we’re still only at the ‘getting to know you’ stage.
It is now around 10 years since we had to give up our dogs when we lost our home and had to live with some good friends for a while. Both Shadow, our bearded collie, and Jessie, our ‘we-were-never-quite-sure-what’s-in-there’ dog, were both rescue dogs, and it really hurt to have to give them up…it felt like a sort of betrayal.
So, here we are with another rescued bearded collie, Sam by name (he was called Harvey, but…). He also has a sad story. It seems he was the much loved pet of a 12 year old boy, who had him as a pup. Clearly he was not so popular with the boy’s parents, who made the boy solely responsible for everything about him, including taking him back to the breeder when he ‘got to much for him’…I am I confess, biased, and wonder at the sort of people who fail to support a 12 year old in caring for a notoriously mischievous breed of dog, and I can really imagine how he would have felt as he took his dog back (when our dogs had to be returned I was similarly cowardly…Wendy did the deed! I remember how she felt…). I hope I said all that with some grace…see the previous post…
I am also forced to say that the unknown 12 year old did a magnificent job. Having rescued beardies before, we both marvelled at the well-behaved (relatively), calm (equally relatively) and wonderfully trained (recall needs a bit…a lot of work) dog we received.
The boy was a hero! I doubt if he’ll read this, but if he does, or if you know him, he should know how grateful we are. Our last beardie, Shadow, was re-homed with a family who had just lost their beardie to cancer, so we know he went to a home where he was needed. Our loss enriched someone else (sorry about the swimming in the neighbours pond…we did tell you how much he loved to swim).
Betrayal, it seems also has two sides. I’m glad we have the opportunity to love a dog that was loved and tragically lost to someone else. You cannot imagine just how much this particularly means to Wendy. I just hope the mystery owner has it made up to him, too.
“It’s just, because you are divorced and re-married, in my eyes you are living in a state of perpetual adultery”.
Dafydd, an elder at my church in Wales, sang and savoured the words as only the Welsh language allows. Naturally I was deeply encouraged, and was not the least bit hurt by his words…nor do I remain in the slightest bit bitter!
Do I dare to have a rant about people who show so little grace? Will I not end up being just as graceless?
Perhaps I need, after all this time (at least 12 years), to get it off my chest. One thing less ‘on my chest’ would surely not be a bad thing.
I am so sad that in the church, the place I’d most expect to see people who know that, but for God’s undeserved kindness they’d be written off, and therefore extend that same kindness to others, I so often see grace’s opposite. Why is it that Christians who are so anxious to believe all the right things so often fail miserably to live the things we believe? I guess it’s to demonstrate that even the ‘best’ of us needs grace, and to make the rest of us really thankful that grace is God’s gift, and not in the hands of the ‘holy and righteous’, for if that were the case, grace might be a nearly extinct, rare breed.
Or would it?
I so often see grace at work in the world, between unlikely people and in unlikely places. It pulls me up and surprises me with joy.
Grace is everywhere…to be seen, enjoyed, marvelled at…and shared. Thank God for grace!
My wife, Wendy, is a community artist. She often has to apply to funders to raise money for the projects she works on. We live in Scotland (by half a mile), her office is in England (Berwick-upon-Tweed) and work comes from both sides of the Border.
Funders do not understand how Borders really work. They see them as hard and fast lines,rather than broad corridors.
So they say, “We’re an English funder, so you can’t spend our money in Scotland.” or “Scottish money can’t be spent on English projects.”
Sounds good and right…but what if your artists are drawn from both sides…if a Scottish artist works in an English school can you pay them with English money etc. I’ve simplified the arguements but that’s how it works. And it happens in other areas of public life.
I thought I saw some reflection of my ‘private’ life here as well, sometimes the boundaries here are broader than well-defined lines too. For example, I am a convinced and long-term Christian, but I try to have the humility to admit that often faith and doubt/uncertainty appear in equal measure, and that I think that’s OK. Of course, that approach never pleases those for whom faith is a cut and dried, black and white issue. Experience also tells me that at times in my life when I’m experiencing the most joy I’m often also feeling more than a little of it’s flip-side…pain!
If only life could be as simple as lines on a map…