Mothers for Prodigals

Sunday, September 9, 2012

God's Inspiration

I wrote the following story several years ago when torrential rains flooded our county. Water deluged many buildings. People lost their homes. Our basement flooded and, of course, my husband was out-of-town. Because I suffered from a back ailment, I couldn’t do much to clean up my house. I felt sorry for myself, looking at my circumstances instead of God, until I began to write it all down for an assignment in my writing class. Our instructor asked us to write about the person making an impact in our lives. Reflecting on my life, I realized many people influenced me, but my dog inspired me. 

                          Dog Tired but Inspired

     Life is saturated with influences. Situations happen. People arrive alongside life’s occurrences and generate those forces of influence. As I reflect upon the people who’ve had a tremendous impact on my life, I’m distracted by an extremely compelling circumstance.
     Schools and several businesses cancelled today because torrential rains flooded streets and buildings. The rain even seeped into our basement. My husband is working out-of-town and I’m experiencing back problems, so I’m throwing a pity party. Meanwhile in walks my neighbor, extending a helping hand to remove wet carpet.
     “Hey Deb,” Tom said, “I know Jeff’s out-of-town. How can we help you?” Wow, what a gratifying feeling to know someone’s got your back. Our neighbor’s assistance was significant, but I’m reminded of my husband’s help around the house when he’s home.
     “No,” he says, “you are not vacuuming with that bad back; you take care of the lighter stuff.” Wow, what support. I could celebrate either one of these men until I’m reminded of my Mom, a widow who’s battled cancer, or my deceased Dad who is bigger in death than in life.
     From my grandparents to my grandchildren, my family influences my life immensely. I’ve been sustained by champions. As I contemplate who to commend for positively affecting my life, I hear a thud.
     “Oh Sandy, honey, I hope your head is okay,” I said aloud. But she didn’t stop to look around. She kept fumbling her way to the water bowl. 
     “I can’t do this anymore. I just can’t find my way around. Did you move the furniture?” Did Sandy say that? Of course not. She’s a dog. If I suffered her issues, I’d scream all the time. She is a 13-year-old white miniature schnauzer afflicted with Cushing’s Disease and diabetes, causing total blindness. Her head is probably knotty from bumping into all our furniture. An added ailment she daily contends with is a fatty tumor the size of her head embedded on her right side.
     I pick her up and wonder out loud, “Are you lamenting the days of chasing squirrels? Do you fret about living in a dark world?” She doesn’t answer or complain. She simply puts one paw in front of the other three on the path from her bed to the water bowl. She takes one step at a time. Wow, or better yet bow wow, the tenacity of this little dog inspires me. 
     As I watch her bungling around, I’m reminded of the odds against her and I stop thinking of the odds against me. Suddenly a thought enters my mind: DOG spelled backwards is GOD. And there are common traits, like unconditional love, excitement when you return home, and noticing your heart not your outward appearance. Bow wow—now that is something to howl about.
     This weather phenomenon and its consequences will not dampen my spirits. My life is steeped with support from family and friends. Even the strength of my pet motivates me to keep on “keepin’ on”. What a profound yet simple life lesson my little dog taught me! 

Once again God used one of my dogs to speak to me. He speaks to all of us in many ways. Be still, listen for His voice, and follow His leading. He will always guide you along His righteous path. Praise Him right now with Psalm 23.

The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want. 
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, 
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.  (NASB)

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