Saturday, August 5, 2017

Losing the Good Ones

Mid-May, I said goodbye to Emmit.
This past Wednesday, I said goodbye to Franklin.
Emmit was around 13 years old, though he was in my home for only 18 months.  Frank was dumped here as a kitten, and was closing in on 14 years.  Emmit had a tough start in life, but he ended well.  Frank pretty much had a good life since he landed here.

Even though it seemed they lived a full life, their presence has been missed.  Another element that makes their loss a little more poignant is that they were, well, normal.

You see, the dogs and cats I've had since living in the country strongly resemble the Island of Misfit Toys.  If you don't know what I'm talking about, do a search and see.  I've had an abused dog that was so scared of everything it was an embarrassment.  At the same time, I had a three legged cat and not one but two other cats that had one eye.  And let's not forget Tilly, who, I can not stress enough, is the worst greeter of any dog ever.  

But Emmit was calm and good natured.  Frankie was mostly a dog-cat, greeting everyone, not intrusive.  Basically, my normal, likable pets are gone.

And while I feel their loss and illusion that my life is normal, if I'm honest, loving the difficult pets is not so different from loving the difficult people of our lives.  In fact, likely I am one of those difficult people.  And maybe you are too.  We don't really have a 100% likability rating (Sorry).  Maybe some of us can hide this better than others.  Maybe some of us really are more likable, but we all fall short.
In God's economy, there are no misfits, no land of unwanted toys.  We may view some people (never ourselves) as the lowest, trash, hopeless. 

But God's specialty are the ones others scorn (and even ourselves).  He even asks us to take care of them.  Who wants that job?  We are called to love the unlovable, because we're not always so lovable ourselves.  God hasn't banished us. When we run to Him, His arms are open, just waiting for us to finally figure out He's been there all along.

Having "just one dog and three cats" is ALMOST like an average pet owner number.  I haven't had this few pets in......I'm not sure how many years.  But I will pull in my flawed, four legged friends, brush aside their less charming traits, and continue to love them for however many years I may have with them.

I'll remember that God does the same with me.  

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