December 7, 2021

From The Rector…

Cutty has a sports injury. I think he may have pulled a hammy. On Mondays we run
intervals. It is not uncommon for him to jerk up on the leash and lag behind when we
sprint—typically because he has seen a squirrel and is no longer paying attention to
where we are going any more. Yesterday, on our last interval, I felt Cutty jerk up on the
leash. I let up on the leash as he started lagging but I never saw the squirrel. It wasn’t
until we got home and he laid down on the back stoop that I realized something might be
wrong. When he wouldn’t eat his breakfast, I knew my suspicions were right and I
immediately called the vet. They told me to bring him straight in.

He didn’t have anything seriously wrong and seemed to have only a slight
injury. The doctor gave him some anti-inflammatory pills and suggested he stay
home from school for the day. I brought him home and he went to his kennel and
slept for most of the morning. By the afternoon he was starting to show a little life
—eating and playing with his toys. Throughout the day, I had worried about him
knowing he wasn’t feeling well and helpless to make him better. By the afternoon,
I felt better as he started to return to his playful personality.

Its hard to be a parent—of children or fur babies. Its especially hard when they
can’t tell you what exactly is wrong. Cutty is a dog—though I know the signs
when he is not feeling well, I can only make a guess as to what the problem might
be. Sometimes those guesses are better than others, but all the times they remind
me of how truly helpless I am to make him feel better when he is in pain or sick or

I have to imagine it is the same with parents of a child who can’t tell them what is
wrong. How hard it must be to try and figure out what is wrong, when it is time to
go to the doctor or not, and how anxious one can become when their child is
sick. No matter what a child may be suffering, it is not easy or comfortable for a
parent to sit with that.

I wonder if it is a little like that for God. Not that I am suggesting God is not
omnipotent and doesn’t always know all we are experiencing, instead, I wonder
how difficult it is for God to sit with us in our pain. We aren’t able to truly express
our brokenness and though God is always offering us healing; we are not always
ready to accept it.

When we suffer a spirit injury, God picks up on our cues, even if we don’t. When
we feel lost and afraid, God comforts us. We don’t really understand what has
happened or why and we certainly don’t know how to make ourselves feel better,
but it is ok. God has us. He will comfort us and help us to know his love and
presence in our lives.

Cutty was feeling a lot better by last night, He went back to “school” today though
it will be a couple of weeks before he gets to go for a run again. Whereas he had
spent most of the day yesterday, lying in a tight little ball and not moving, he
spent last evening chewing on a new toy and sniffing around the kitchen looking
for morsels of food that might have fallen on the floor. My heart is a lot lighter
after having worried about him much of yesterday. He wasn’t able to reassure me
that it was just a pulled muscle, so I had worried that I had missed something
big. I hadn’t, but you can’t always be sure.

Of course, I don’t think Cutty really understood what was happening to him and
why he was experiencing pain. That is a lot like the pain we bring to God. So often
we are hurt and discouraged, without hope or direction, and don’t understand
how we got to this place or even what this place is. As much as we may be
hurting and not understanding why, God is still right there—reluctant to leave us
and worried about us, even though he knows we will be ok in the end.

Light and Life,