Monday, October 8, 2007
Lesson in Grace
This past weekend, I was taught a lesson in grace...by my dog...and I failed. Lucy is a mutt. She was part of an abandoned litter. I got her for Jen eight years ago, for Christmas. We've been through a lot with this dog: First year: She ate our laundry room. Yes, I mean she actually ate the room. She ate holes in the drywall and door trim. Then, we repaired those things and repainted. She loved the smell of the paint, so she licked it all off. Year two: She cut her toe on the edging in the lawn. Saturday night. Doggie Emergency room. Stitches. $250. Year three: She ate a pair of Jen's eyeglasses. Frames...lenses...everything. Gone. Sunday evening. Emergency room. X-rays. $200. Also, two remote controls. (We have all "universal" remotes now, because no original remotes have survived.) Year four: She snuck downstairs and got into the Halloween candy. She ate the entire bowl...wrappers...boxes, popsicle sticks...everything. Visit to the doctor's office. $120. Year five: A pair of rubber gloves, a couple of kitchen sponges. Year six: An entire loaf of bread...more sponges...a kitchen spatula...a dishcloth...a frisbee... Year seven: We start noticing that we're going through toilet paper like crazy. Yep, she slurps it up off the roll...like spaghetti. Present day: We're getting ready to sell the house...so we're trying to clean everything, paint what needs to be painted, etc. One of the things we're trying to avoid is having to replace the carpet. We're hoping we can just get by with a good cleaning. So, we left Lucy in the backyard most of the day. While we were working, Lucy snuck into Jen's garden and ate all of her cornstalks. Not just the corn...the leaves...the stalks...everything. Of course, we don't notice at first...until she comes back into the house and hurls in three different rooms...six spots in all. Dark, disgusting, smelly stains. That was it for me. My patience had run out. If not for my sweet wife, I would have loaded the dog into the car and taken her to the Humane Society right away. I love this dog...she has brought me tremendous joy over the years...but I've just reached my limit on forgiveness. I'm tired of fixing or replacing everything she destroys. I'm tired of her doing the same thing over and over and over without learning to be better. I'm tired. And then I'm reminded: what if God felt the same about me? What if He said, "That's it Tim. I've had it. You're obviously never going to get it right. Time to get rid of you." Ouch. Grace. It IS amazing...and incomprehensible. And it's a lesson I have to learn...from my dog.