Giving God something to smile at

We recently took on the responsibility of a puppy. Her name is Violet Villery Rose and she is cute as she can be. And she is a handful.

During my shower she ate a softball-sized hole in our Persian rug. We picked up all the good rugs and replaced them with cheap ones, and now those have holes in them too. Paul’s shoe is missing a tongue and my new sandal is missing a strap.

Violet can wiggle through the pickets in the new fence we put up to contain her and she has a habit of finding the box turtle that lives in the yard and carrying him around in her mouth. The cat’s food is better than her food. Digging holes is more fun than catching the Frisbee. She is now enrolled in Puppy School and so far we have learned how to feed her treats, at which she excels.

Just when this ball of dark brown fur has reached my last nerve, she looks at my face with her big eyes. Her tongue which is too long lolls out the side of her mouth, and she tilts her head just right. My heart melts and I remember why it was we brought her home in the first place.

God must feel very much like this with us. He created this amazing place for us to live, and we have managed to make a mess of it. Boxy high-rises replace lush forests and blue rivers run brown with sludge. You can’t hear the song of birds over the roar of traffic or the blare of our piped-in entertainment.

Homes, created for support and love, have too often become places of abuse and anger. Work is stressful and our to-do list is too long to ever get to the end of it and feel we can let go and have some fun.

But then, there are the times we see a sunrise and marvel all over again at God’s goodness. Or we hold a newborn and thank God for the complexity of the new creation. We smile at God just right, we tip our heads and our innocence slides out. And God must surely remember why He created us.

I need to go and corral Violet. I don’t know what she is up to, but it has to be bad. She is out of sight, after all. May you spend this week being amazed at God’s patience and the many gifts He has given us, in spite of ourselves.



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