Wednesday, February 27, 2013
New Kid on the Block
After fifteen years of kenneling dogs for people (and more years as a multiple pet owner), having more than one dog is not uncommon. Probably close to half of my regular kennel clients have more than one dog, with some having more than two (don't worry, I won't name names). Some people adopt litter mates or two dogs at the same time. Those transitions go well, for the most part. Then there are those situations when a puppy is introduced to the "more established" dog in the home. Those transitions can be challenging at best. Meet Brutus (the established dog) and Annabelle (the pup). While sometimes Brutus enjoys Annabelle and her I-want-to-play-24-hours-a-day nature, there are many times he wants to be left alone. Whenever I introduced a new cat to our household, Foster would NOT be happy. In fact, when my other dog Guinness passed away, it didn't seem like Foster missed him one bit. It's like he always looked at every toy and piece of food was his all along, and now he didn't have to share. Then there's Frank, who may hiss at the beginning of an introduction, has pretty much befriended every new pet brought here. When we were in school, we had to endure the cliques that naturally (and unnaturally) formed. Some definitely viewed themselves as the cool kids, and no one new was ever welcome. This is definitely not the way God wants us to be. He told us to welcome the stranger, even to love the unloveable. I mean, it would seem God doesn't really care if we're popular or not, if we're caught rubbing elbows with the uncool kids, jeopardizing our fragile social status. In fact, it would seem God doesn't care about our social status at all. Isn't that annoying? Yet shouldn't we be thankful that God welcomes us? Maybe we make fun of or are somewhat terrified of the stereotypical Wal-mart shoppers. But in God's eyes, all of our fine clothes, nice job, and cool friends mean absolutely nothing. He looks at our hearts. Sometimes our hearts only care about clothes, jobs, and status of friends. Our hearts may resemble the ugliest of stereotypes. When we run to God, admitting we aren't "all that", He welcomes us, the stranger, the smelly ugly unloveable one. Through Jesus, our ugly, sinful nature is made acceptable to God. Only Jesus' atoning sacrifice can put us right again. Then not only can we revel in the love of the Lord, we can welcome the stranger, that new kid on the block, regardless of who that person may be.