Thursday, July 4, 2013

Giving All - Sacred Honor

Happy 4th of July! It IS happy but it didn't look like it would be happy on the 3rd of July. On the 3rd of July, my brand new temporary crown fell off at dinner time. All the dentists all over the USA were out of the office, starting the holiday celebration while I stared at the temporary crown in my hand which I fortunately didn't swallow. My highly sensitive tooth throbbed. My faithful dog Honeybun kept coming over to me, and licking my knee. She never licks, but she must have sensed my fear and pain, and she was trying to comfort me as best she knew how.

While waiting that painful hour for my dentist to call me back, my friend Danielle called me to tell me that she had the plaque my dog club had made for all the agility dogs who had earned titles over the year. Honeybun, before her sudden lameness and collapse six months ago, had finally earned her last leg of the "open" level in agility, and officially advanced to "excellent." The diagnosis of her spinal problem meant that she must retire from any more agility trials, and we knew the plaque my friend was bringing over would be the last one Honeybun would ever earn.

But I had to leave the house before Danielle showed up with Honeybun's final award. The dentist called and told me he had cut short his dinner so he could put my tooth back on. He was waiting for me at the office. While he was restoring my tooth and my faith in heroic dentists, my phone ding-donged. It ding-dongs like a doorbell when I have a text message. Fools my dogs every time, who bark like maniacs at the door when my phone ding-dongs. With my dentist's fingers in my mouth, I was unable to respond, but ten minutes later, when my tooth was back where it belonged, I checked the message. Danielle, with the plaque, was lost; couldn't remember my house address.

I quickly texted her, but she didn't answer. So I drove home, and as I rounded the corner, I saw her driving past my house. She stopped her car.
"Where do you live!?" she asked.
"Right there!" I pointed.
She handed me Honeybun's final agility award and I hugged the plaque to my heart. It meant a lot to me to have it. Danielle and I talked about how in the last year of Honeybun running agility, she had slowed down, seemed hesitant, missed jumps. We had thought she was just getting old, or maybe nonchalant, or maybe lazy. We realized now, knowing what we knew about the deformed vertebrae she was just diagnosed with, that she had probably been in pain. But she had wanted so desperately to please us that she never let on. She gave everything she had because she loved us, and wanted to show how grateful she was that we had saved her. She loved us more than her own ease and comfort.

This July 4th, I think it is very important to remember how many people who loved their country fought for freedom. They gave everything they had because they loved something greater than their own ease and comfort. It is hard to imagine that kind of sacrifice. I thought about freedom and how incredible it is to be a people who live in freedom. And I thought about how so many are still enslaved, not only by evil leaders, but by sin that prowls like a hungry lion. I thought of another Sacrifice that set us free, and was grateful for the love that compelled Him to give everything He had because He loved us. Jesus loved us more than His own ease and comfort.

Honeybun licked the plaque when my daughter Asherel showed it to her. She sniffed my face as I leaned over to hug her, and assured that all was well with my tooth, she curled up nearby and wrapped her tail around her nose.

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?” Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:31-36 NIV)

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:1, 2 NIV)

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness ...

...And for the support of this Declaration,with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our Sacred Honor.
(Declaration of Independence)

-save a dog-

No comments:

Post a Comment