Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Joy comes in

This blog was inspired by my dog Bruno. Due to his extreme passion for hunting cats, Bruno has to live as a yard dog and is not allowed inside.  We made a dog house for him, okay we did not make it we tipped over an old water tank, cleaned it and put in a blanket. At first Bruno did not love his dog house, it was too far way from his people (us) so often he would choose to stay on the porch (even in the rain) in the hopes that his people would make their way out of the backdoor. We had however a very long rainy season and started to feel sorry for this foolish but loyal dog, so we moved his house to just off the porch. With his new vantage point he can see when his people come to the door and Bruno comes running! He finally takes shelter in the rain and I do belive he quite likes his shelter. I have included a picture of this house to show you how primitive it is, even just today when I took the picture there were grass clippings stuck to the inside walls of the house due to the humidity and a freshly cut lawn. It is not pretty, in fact it really ought to be called a shack, not a house.

I went outside last night to say hi, Bruno was not there.  He usually greets me at the door and then does a little dance with some awesome vocalizations, but this time, Bruno was no where to be seen.  I looked out into the dark and saw his curled up figure in his shack, I wondered why he was not coming to me. In the shadow I could see his little stump of a tail trying to wag, but nothing else. He has spotted me but still did not come running. It was then I decided to go to him, I made my way off and around the porch and to the opening of Bruno's shack. Grasping the tree in the doorway I crouched down and looked in. Bruno was lying comfortably but it was obvious he did not have the energy to get up. Bruno sufferers from arthritis  in his deformed hind legs. He was like this when we got him as a foster, and though he is  much healthier he is still feeling the effects of years of neglect and abuse in his first 7 years or so of life.

leaning in for a hug
 I was not shocked at his lack of energy, there was proof all around the gardens that he had been digging for lizards  all day, an activity I can imagine quickly catches up with his aged body. Seeing he needed some love and affection, I humbled myself, crouched even further, contorted my body and made my way next to Bruno. His stubby tailed wagged harder, yet he did not move. I reached over to stroke his back and he uttered a sigh of contentment. Soon after Bruno decided to move over so he could be even closer to me, it was a lovely moment during a the star filled evening. It was actually quite joyful.

Bruno is so happy to have a visitor

Here are two pictures we reenacted for the camera this morning as it was too dark for photos last night as it would have ruined the moment

As we we were just sitting there, I took a big breath and started to look around. I was sitting on a dirty blanket, leaning against a grassy, dirty wall and petting a dog that was still filthy from digging in the garden.  The more I thought about it, the more it was quite disgusting, but just then Bruno lifted his head and licked my hand. It was his way to say thank you and to show his appreciation for my visit to his domain. Any disgusting thought was vanquished and my heart filled with love and affection for this misshapen dirty dog whose only care in the world was to be shown love.

What struck me last night was this, If I were Bruno sore, dirty and in a shack I probably would not have desired any visitors, instead I would have shunned any offers and avoided any contact. I might have been ashamed that I did not have it all together, or that my house was out of order or too small, I would have been embarrassed at my appearance and I would have missed out on the joy that offered to come to me.

We do that with God. So often we think we need to have it all together to approach him, so often we avoid inviting him in because we are embarrassed with our current conditions. We think, when I get my family in order then I can talk to God, when I figure out my depression then I can talk to God, or when I know I can do more things for Him then I can talk to God. But that is not the case. God comes to u, He comes to sit with us dirt and all. Not only does he come to us, He humbles himself, gets dirty  and comes to see us in our current condition. no strings attached, joy comes to us.

I am so grateful for Bruno's example last night of just being himself. He reminded me that God is always with me, not just when I have it together. God  is particularly present  when I am particularly out of sorts. God brings me Joy when I need it the most, in the midst of life's messes.

thanks Bruno for showing me how to accept the Joy that is offered even when life is not perfect.

shine on my friends

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