imagesIt was a strange sound, but a rather endearing sound at that. I looked down to hear the soft whimpering cry of my office mascot…a little 9 pound Pomeranian named Madison. She came to us from a breeder when she was four years old, very timid and meek. The other breeding dogs used to take advantage of her small stature and timid personality, intimidating her away from her food only to help themselves. In the few years since we adopted Madison, she has become much less timid than the early days when she would duck to any sudden noise from an airplane overhead to the dryer bell signaling clothes were ready to be hung or folded. She has been my right side since we got her, although more recently she has become a tad bit more independent. Still loving and still remembering where her nurturing and protection comes from, but a bit more willing to venture out and explore beyond a corner she can’t see.

Madison usually travels with me to the office more days than not, and most clients never know she is there. I have never been overly fond of offices where animals wander, but Madison is different somehow. She is small, quiet, unassuming…never one to jump on people or beg (well, except for with our patient care coordinator up front whose own dogs are her children and she has a propensity to spoil Madison with “Good Girl Treats” as well). She has a little “pod” that she favors in the office, and stays there while I see clients, then she takes a nature break before coming back and hopping into her pod for her afternoon nap while I work on cleaning up the paperwork that was originated with client visits earlier in the day.

This particular afternoon I was at my desk, not four feet from Madison’s “pod.” I was typing up reports and minding my own business when I heard a little whimper. Thinking it was cute but nonspecific, I glanced down at her and asked “What? What do you need?” Her only answer was more whimpering while she looked straight into my eyes. “You just went out, and I gave you your treat. Are you hungry? You aren’t prancing around asking for food like you usually do.” And as I said that, I looked down at her and for the first time realized that her right back leg was in an unusual position, with her paw up in the air like a gymnast holding her stance on the balance beam with legs unsupported but arms bearing the weight. I got down on my hands and knees to pet her petite head, still carrying on a one-way conversation. “Do you have a cramp?” As I gently approached to try massaging her hind quarter I realized the reason for her distress. She must have been scratching only to matt her fur, and proceeded to get her nail stuck in the matted mess, thus leaving her paw suspended. She had created quite a mess and despite her normal streak of independence, was unable to get herself out of this one alone. I too struggled until I was left with no other option than to cut the matt, releasing her paw. She immediately licked my hand before tending to her own “wounds,” then went back to her business of afternoon napping.

I have thought so often about that image burned into my mind of this helpless young creature, in a mess that she could not control nor fix without her mother’s help. She cried out in distress and I heard her. I came running to the rescue to be given a quick “thanks” before she was off doing her own thing again. I was saddened by her distress, yet felt good to be needed, then disappointed when she went her own way again, wishing for just a few more moments of togetherness.

I wonder how often God feels that way with me. I am timid and meek in many things myself, yet at the same time I have a fairly independent nature and will work myself either into a tizzy or half to death, waiting until I have no other option but to ask for help. I then cry out in my distress, waiting for Him to come to my rescue. And when He does, I say a word of thanks before I quickly become preoccupied again by “my own stuff.” Surely then He must be thinking, “I wait here eagerly every day for you to call on my name. I come when you call only to receive a brief acknowledgement before I begin my eagerly wait all over again…How I wish you would grant a little more time in my presence.”

16 But I call to God, and the LORD saves me. 17 Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice. 18 He ransoms me unharmed from the battle waged against me, even though many oppose me. 19 God, who is enthroned forever, will hear them and afflict them– “Selah” men who never change their ways and have no fear of God. 20 My companion attacks his friends; he violates his covenant. 21 His speech is smooth as butter, yet war is in his heart; his words are more soothing than oil, yet they are drawn swords. 22 Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall. 23 But you, O God, will bring down the wicked into the pit of corruption; bloodthirsty and deceitful men will not live out half their days. But as for me, I trust in you. Psalm 22:16-23

Oh Father,
How I get in a hurry with all the tempting activities of life, often forgetting where my priorities should lie. I allow myself to become deceived by the urgency of this call or that, and before I know it, my day is full, I am tired, and you are still waiting to share it with me. Please forgive my blind sightedness, for leaving you out of my “here and now” but rather coming to you only when I need something “now.” Help me to remember that you created man, you created me, for companionship with you and that nothing delights you more. I do love you, and those I love I want to spend time with…I long for more time with you in my day, starting with today.
Amen

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