Tilly still has scars from her past.
I take off her collar this morning and it stares me in the face. The pink groove that will never grow fur, no matter how much time goes by, because she spent so many months of her life tethered. A groove that says that she grew but no one adjusted the rope or chain or collar that held her in place. She’ll always have that scar.
When she came to us, she was afraid. Her tail stayed tucked, she wouldn’t look at anyone, she seemed ashamed when we tried to give her affection.
As months have gone by, she’s thrived under our care. She is brave now, jumping up on the table to steal food, barking the backyard, wrestling with Caroline, climbing up into my lap. She is my constant companion, always where she can see me.
I love her.
When we were still fostering dogs, Tilly was a huge part of it and not just because she was our foster fail. (Foster fail: when you foster a dog but then can’t let it go to get adopted. You’ve failed at fostering.) She coaxed shy dogs out of their shell. She played with them and snuggled them and herded them. (She’s a champion herder.) Whenever I saw her with the other fosters, I had just one thought.
She who has been forgiven much, loves much.
She’s grateful. Inasmuch as a dog can be. She’s grateful. And she has thrived because she is so loved.
She still has to be disciplined, she still has to be trained and taught. I’m tired of her eating my shoes. I wouldn’t mind if she stopped stealing food off the table. I absolutely can not stand it when she jumps on people with her sharp little claws.
But most of all, I love her like crazy.
And I think about that shy, tail tucked dog who is now, at this very moment, wrestling with a dog three times her size in the living room…think about how she has blossomed in our family.
Living things just need love.
I’m grateful that when I walk through trial and fire, that God loves me. I’m grateful that He can see the scars from my past and can make them beautiful. I’m grateful that I can use my struggles and my hurts to help others. I’m grateful that in the very middle of all my mess and chaos, He can place a hand on me and still my heart.
And so, yes, I realize that I’m comparing my walk with God to my relationship to my dog and I also realize that’s a bit crazy.
I mean, I seriously, crazily love my dog. So it makes sense to me. And it’s just like God to use our every day to teach us Big Lessons.
Today, I’m grateful for this little brown mutt and for God who gave her to me. And I’m so grateful for what He has shown me through her.
You should rescue a dog. I know some people that can hook you up.