We inherited an adorable, intelligent little Yorkie from our daughter Heidi a couple years ago. The kids named him Hazard after a little town in Eastern Kentucky, near where they first met him. Heidi married and moved away and left Hazard with us. We fell immediately and effortlessly in love with the little animal.
The enthusiasm he shows when I arrive home is one of his most endearing qualities. He celebrates my arrival like he won the seventh game of the World Series.
Last night when I came in from a youth event he was jumping and leaping and wagging and breathing fast. I made my way toward the living room where I usually rest my briefcase beside my chair.
Mid-way through the kitchen he ran under my foot. I stepped on him. He yelped. I made a quick hop to shift my weight. He darted under my foot and I stepped on him again.
In instinctive self-preservation he bit my toe. I was wearing sandals. Now we were both hurting. I rolled around on the ground for a moment holding my foot and he licked me to let me know the whole thing was a big mistake. I don’t like licking so usually I tell him and he stops, but he seemed to be trying to communicate that he meant no harm. I pet him for a while I groaned in pain hoping he would know that I would never intentionally step on him.
Have you ever noticed that in human relationships can be the same way? We are all eager to love and be loved but in our clumsiness we end up miss-stepping, growling, snapping, and groaning in pain and trying to make up. We live in a broken world. Until Jesus comes back and puts things right, even those of us who are devoted to each other are going to struggle to express our love. We are going to have painful episodes. We are going to say and do things that hurt those we love and deeply regret it later. We are going to struggle through that clumsy little dance of life and love we do.
Be careful when you walk though someone’s life. It’s easy to step on people. Be careful when people step on you. Don’t be quick to snap at them. When you do hurt or get hurt, immediately tend to the wound so that your fellowship is fully restored.
Hazard and I are OK now, I think. He sits at my feet when I write and lays on the arm of my chair some, quietly growling at squirrels, rabbits and birds in the back yard. I scratch behind his ears from time to time.
He does seem to give me a little more space when I stride through the room these days. I try to tread lightly around him and I try to be very careful where I step. If you step on people enough they will run and hide when you come home. It some cases, they won’t even be there to greet you anymore. You don’t want that.
June 29, 2011