Sunday, July 22, 2012

Stupid but Forgiven

For those of you who have come to know and love my old friend Comer who I mention now and then in my blog, he is surprisingly doing well. At 93 years old, i really thought his latest loss of energy signaled the end. However, he has been gaining strength, and returning to his old self. Except for some very bad water retention in his feet, he seems chipper and regaining zest for life. He really continues to amaze me.

I visited him yesterday, and unlike the past few weeks of being barely able to lift his head from the recliner, he chatted happily for an hour. He insisted on walking me to the door, though slowly.
"You are a wonder, Comer," I told him, kissing him goodbye.

Like every human on the planet, my life is full of dashed hopes and setbacks. I needed to see Comer up and about again, his flashing grin and optimistic outlook again gracing my world. We all need a few symbols of redemption and hope now and then. They are out there. Some days they are just a little harder to uncover than others.

Meanwhile, I got a call early in the morning.
"Hi Ma'am, I'm your neighbor...Bill? I got your puppy over here in my yard. He's a sweet thing. I don't mind at all, but I will walk him back home now if that is ok with you."
I groaned. The stupid dog is ten years old. When will he stop climbing the fence? And why climb to only escape into another fenced yard? I met Bill and Lucky as they came trotting around the corner. Lucky wagged his tail, greeting me as though he were out on a planned and approved stroll with his friend Bill.
"He is a great dog," said Bill.
"He sure is," I agreed, "Want him?"
Alas, Bill didn't want him, so Lucky and I returned home, Lucky wagging his tail happily.

It is interesting that I am reading Amos, Chapter 9, that talks about the people escaping or trying to escape the wrath of God. I think Lucky escapes when he knows the barometric pressure is dropping. He hates storms, and I think he believes that if he can just get out of his yard, he will be safe. Like the sinners of Chapter 9, he believes he can escape the wrath of God unleashed to punish those who defy and disobey again and again and again just by running to a different place. I think we all make that mistake at times. It is easier to hide from consequences or blame someone else rather than face up to our own failings. However, as I thought of Comer and the hopeful signs of his returning health in the face of such advanced age, I didn't think the depressing admonition of Amos 9 was where I wanted to end up as my daily dose of God. I read on, and then, at the end of the Chapter, hope again emerges! I just hadn't read far enough.

God promises restoration. He will remove HIs wrath and return His people from exile. The land will blossom with new vineyards and the relationship with the Lord will be restored forever. Hope is renewed. The fire of Life is rekindled. A right relationship with a loving Father is redeemed.

Lucky looked at me as I hung his leash on its hook. He waited to see what this latest escapade would result in. I patted his head and looked deeply in his eyes.
"You are stupid, but you are forgiven," I said.

Amos 9:13-15 (NIV)
“The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when the reaper will be overtaken by the plowman and the planter by the one treading grapes. New wine will drip from the mountains and flow from all the hills, [14] and I will bring my people Israel back from exile. “They will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them. They will plant vineyards and drink their wine; they will make gardens and eat their fruit. [15] I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted from the land I have given them,” says the Lord your God.

-save a dog-

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