I know you can’t read. But whatever, I’m writing a letter to you anyway.
I’m not a dog person.
You’ve overheard me say so to your dad – yeah, he’s Mr. S. on these interweb things – and given that I’m a dog owner, that line makes no sense. Let me explain.
I was a little girl, two or three feet taller than you, and a crazy-big, crazy-scary dog ran into my parents’ back yard, where I was playing. Knowing no better, I ran. And, also knowing no better, that dog chased me. Before I knew it, I was on the ground and that startling dog was on top of me. I was attacked. Like any attack of any kind, it’s bound to make an impact.
One bad apple ruins the whole bunch, and this character was no exception. I’ve lived most of my life as “not a dog person.” Fearful of the four-legged and especially petrified of dogs. I was that kiddo who cowered in the corner at birthday parties if the birthday girl had a dog. I’ve been that adult who shrinks back at the sight of something on four legs.
So when Mr. S. and I were dating and he brought up dogs, I was hesitant. No way, no how, never. Mr. S. wasn’t pushy, and yet the conversation came up again and again.
Fast forward, and here we are.
Here’s the thing: God redeems messes.
God took my sloppy, scary relationship with dogs and used you as a vehicle for redemption. God took that dog attack and used you to banish generalizations of every kind.
Sweeping judgment, overarching overservations, sweeping judgments . . . God is using you, my puppy, to put generalizations in their place.
God is teaching me that one ought never represent the whole.
Twenty-ish years post dog attack, I’m nuzzling my nose in a fluffy, four-legged puppy who lives in my house. Never thought I’d live to see the day.
That’s God for you: always redeeming, always surprising.
Chaco, you’re half lamb and half monster and all adorable. Grateful for the gift of you.
so much love,
Mommy (okay, okay . . . Sarah)