Wednesday, February 28, 2018

A Confession and a Lesson

Dear Friends,

I am a farm girl who does not like animals or chickens. Never have. Don’t suppose I ever will. I just don’t relate well to things that bark and bite, purr, moo and lick. I’m not sure when it all began.

Baby chicks were cute. I loved stroking their fuzzy coats, watching them scramble to eat feed sprinkled on newspapers, watching them drink as bubbles gurgled up through water jars. But then they turned into hens—that pecked my hands when I gathered eggs. No longer cute!

My father bought a dog, Gypsy, when I was maybe five. I was afraid of Gypsy, but we might have gotten better acquainted had she not met a premature end.

Steers were another matter. They broke out of fences, and I had to help my brother round them up and herd them home. Horns. Wild eyes. Hated it.

In more recent times, a son’s family got a dog—Molly, a miniature Schnausser. And we were designated babysitters whenever the family vacationed. That did break the pet ice for me. Molly was cute, although she did bark way too much. One day I found our candy dish lying on its side on an end table—Hershey kisses gone. A pile of crumbled wrappers told the story. I agonized. What if Molly got sick from the chocolate? What if a wrapper lodged in her tummy? Fortunately, Molly—and I—survived.

When Molly passed to doggie heaven, we held a funeral for her, and I wrote parts for the grandchildren to read—a poem, a prayer, a tribute. I kept her picture on my refrigerator for years. Maybe it's still there.

Her place has been taken by Sadie, a soft-haired Wheaton terrier. Sadie is sweet. I do like when she cuddles next to me. They haven’t asked us to babysit. Was it the Hershey kisses? It’s OK, because I’m not sure I’m up to handling dogs in my home anymore.

So that’s my confession. My point is, sometimes people have surprising attitudes. Why would a farm girl be scared of animals? I don’t know. But I appreciate people who respect me and don’t expect me to cuddle their pets—especially if they weigh more than I do. I can see the value of pets. They are companions that offer unconditional love to their owners. I have Bill.

We tend to want others to be as we are. If we’re sports fanatics, we may not understand how someone sits quietly through football games. If we’re cooking fanatics, we can’t understand how someone opens a can of soup and boils a hot dog for supper. If we love the outdoors, we can’t understand when someone begs off a hike.

But how dull the world would be if we were all alike. I enjoy people who are different from me. I like fun-loving friends, outgoing, adventuresome, pet-loving people. God made us all. We’re in this together. And what a fun ride life is—if we respect differences and reject judgments.

“And the most important clothing you must wear is love. Love is what binds us all together in perfect harmony.” Colossians 3:14 (NLT)

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Enjoy the journey.


Upcoming Engagements:

March 2-3 - Friends of the Heart with Dixonville Wesleyan Church at Mahaffey Camp and Conference Center, "Just Say Yes--to God!"

March 20, 6:30 p.m. - Friends of the Heart for Women to Women at Grace Community Church, Herndon, "Just Say Yes--to God!"

March 24, 12 noon - Shirley at Guardian Angel Bookstore Tea, Richfield, PA.

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