Sleeping with my Selfishness

Our daughter Heidi is married to Austin. He is a police officer in Wisconsin. He works nights–third shift. She does not like to stay alone at night so Austin bought her an alarm system and he dropped by the dog shelter and picked out a nice Pit Bull to keep her company at night and discourage bad guys.

In late January Heidi and Austin had baby Keira. When we heard Heidi was in labor we were on our way. While we were on the road from Detroit through Chicago to Wisconsin Keira was born. As we raced across the state up-dates on Heidi’s labor would come in on our phones. Finally a picture of baby Keira. We spent the day with the little family in the hospital in Kenosha celebrating the birth of our first granddaughter. She was born early so she was dainty–a perfect five pound bag of sugar.

That night, tired and happy we got something to eat and drove out to Austin and Heidi’s home to check on Kato, the family Pit Bull and get some rest. Austin and Heidi had left in a hurry that day so Austin’s parents had dropped by the house earlier to look in on Kato and put out some bedding for us.

When we got to the house I was ready to get some sleep. We let Kato out and he bounded around the house like a small horse. We are used to our Yorkie, Hazard so Kato seemed more like livestock than a house pet, but he was good-natured and very, very happy to see Hope. His happy bark had a resonance that you could feel in your chest.

I noticed a quilt folded up on the couch and a pillow on top. I picked them up and said; “I don’t know where you guys are going to sleep, but I’m taking the guest room.” I assumed Hope would sleep on the loveseat and Lois would join me in the guest room or sleep on the couch. The guest room had a daybed so Lois chose to sleep in the living room. I would have the daybed and guest room to myself. I dressed for bed, tossed the pillow on the bed, lay down, covered up with the nice, warm quilt and went to sleep with a thankful heart. I noticed there was no pillowcase but I was too tired to look around for one.

I slept deeply and awoke refreshed and happy. We got some breakfast and drove back to the hospital to pass Keira around and take more pictures. When we got there Austin left to go home and get a shower and tend to some things. Kyle and Elizabeth and the boys arrived to join the celebration. It was a happy day… until Austin returned.

When he got back he had a funny smile on his face when he said; “I see you guys used the guest room. Who slept in there?”

“I did,” I said. “Slept like a baby.”

“You slept there alone?”

“Yes, I tried to talk Lois into sleeping with me but she wanted to sleep on the couch.”

He laughed and said, “I hate to tell you this but that pillow you used belongs to Kato. It’s the dog’s pillow.”

“Are you serious?” I asked.

“Yes. Didn’t you notice hair on it or dog slobber or anything…and it didn’t have a pillowcase?”

“No. I did notice Kato acted funny when I was getting ready for bed and he kept trying to get in the room.”

Austin laughed… a little too much, I thought. For the rest of the day he would just chuckle whenever he looked at me. Lois enjoyed to a little too much, too. I even caught a hint of amusement in Hope.

This wasn’t the first time my old selfish streak backfired on me and I’m sure it won’t be the last. I have to admit, I have a sinful selfish streak in me that is rooted deep in my old self. I know the theology. There is no way to overcome that sinful selfishness without a series of Spirit-generated miracles deep within my soul. The Spirit of God lives in me and I know He is at work to root out the last ugly remnants of my sinfulness. I’m sure He arranges humbling circumstances as an aid to my sanctification, like slobbery dog pillows and people that are just a little too entertained when my selfishness backfires on me.

Ken Pierpont
Granville Cottage
Riverview, Michigan
April 10, 2012

Kenneth L. Pierpont

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  1. evelyn says

    that’s what I like about you… You can laugh at yourself and ask, “What is God trying to teach me?” then able to share with others so they will put God’s word into action….

  2. Lex says

    That was an amazingly rich, and well told, story. Thank you so much for sharing.

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