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Monday, September 13, 2010

Loving Your Neighbors




Say "hi" to Comet (the Golden), Simon (actually Simon's butt), Simon again(oh, that's better!), Ruger (Boxer), and Comet (Border Collie). Hi guys!

The dogs here at the kennel go outside four times a day. As you can see, the dogs have a bit of contact with each other (Simon and Ruger are of the same owner, and I'm probably spelling Ruger's name wrong). Most of the time, the dogs find sniffing their neighboring dogs through the fence an interesting and fun experience. Sort of like being at a party (probably the kind I would avoid).

Every now and then, however, some dogs can be a bit...grumpy (sort of like me). These dogs can be fearful or aggressive towards other dogs around them. This requires some strategic planning for me in terms of which dogs go out when, where they'll go, and who is by whom.

"Can't we all just get along?"

No.

Sadly, this is just as true of people as it is of dogs. A wise friend once told me that "having peace with another person sometimes means being apart." This was hard for me to hear in the situation before me, but I knew the truth of it.

While each of us needs to strive to be patient and kind with everyone we encounter, the fact remains that not everyone will return patience and kindness. Sometimes, hopefully not often, peace comes from absence. Discernment to know when to accept this is a long time coming.

There is great sadness that no peace is enduring on earth. Jesus didn't talk about that kind of peace. The peace he offers us is like a deep anchor in our soul - the hope that true peace, true hope and true love exist. We can despair of our broken relationships and our own weaknesses during our lives. Yet we can live above this pain in knowledge that it is fleeting in the face of the eternal.

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