Jan 262018

Life can be really, really hard.

Last night I found myself in the local veterinary emergency room for hours.

T’s beautiful, wonderful, cat had been mauled by dogs and needed help now.

He made it through the ordeal and will be fine…but I didn’t know that when I arrived.

The staff was prompt and courteous and kind, they responded to the emergency like one would hope they would.

The reason I’m writing this is that they were also wise enough to know that it wasn’t just the cat that needed care.

I was a mess.

Distraught, exhausted, and overwhelmed.

Really distraught.

Over the next few hours they not only cared for Bo, the cat, they cared for me.

I’m not going to tell you that I enjoyed the experience, but I was certainly blessed by it.

They weren’t just caring for me and my cat.

There was a parade of people and animals in need of care.

A cat that had been shot, a dog with a bad spider bite, more than one dog who had eaten the owners marijuana edibles which are toxic to them.

Everyone was treated as we were, with a steady stream of compassion and concern.

Which brings me to here and to the church.

We always say that the church is a hospital for sinners.

The problem is that it doesn’t always feel like a place to heal.

Sometimes we end up in worse shape than when we entered.

We treat our animals better than we treat each other.

This site started as a place for those who came to the church wounded by life and then by the church.

I never want it to become a place where you have to meet a list of requirements to be treated with compassion and concern.

I do want it to be a place where those of us who have healed enough to help someone else can bring others who are distraught, exhausted and overwhelmed.

I want it to be a place of both healing and growth.

We’re all as different as the animals I watched come through the door last night, with different sorts of problems needing help…all waiting to see the Great Physician.

The veterinary doctor received all who came to him last night.

So does Jesus.

So should we.

Life…can be really, really hard.

Make your own application…

  14 Responses to “TGIF”

  1. so sorry for the cat, for T and for Michael… wonderful analogy, sad but accurate in many of our churches today
    God keep

  2. Praying for this kitty….and T….Lord, have mercy on our beloved fur kids…. how deeply our hearts love them….

  3. As you know, Michael…. I have been ‘mauled’ by stuff in life…and not cared for by the ones I would have expected to receive care from. I will say, however, that others did and do continue to exhibit compassion. Frankly, God used the ones who didn’t care to push me forward into the Next Chapter that He had prepared for me… There ARE good churches out there, even CCs that are still empowered by the Holy Spirit…

  4. Excellent words, Paige… God works His will into some of our lowest moments… so many platitudinous truths come to mind as I read your #3… and so many blessings that didn’t seem like blessings going through them
    thank you for making me think on this this morning. (my daughter came downstairs to the 19 year old cat lying on the floor with a dislocated shoulder, she is at the vets now, if it won’t go back into the socket, she’s going to have to make that hard decision – I suspect our Father has to make a lot of hard decisions like you’ve described, but with a joyful end)

  5. This story makes me thankful for all the folks out there, millions and millions, who work out their vocations in our common life, every day.

  6. Paige,

    Amen and thank you.

  7. Em,

    Praying for your kitty…

  8. I agree 100% with bob1 @ #5.

  9. bob1,

    Amen to that.

    I don’t do well in places where there are injured or sick pets.
    I was very proud of myself because I didn’t cry non stop for the five or six hours that we were there.
    Everyone understood…they engaged with me, sharing pictures and stories of our pets, talking about the wave of marijuana poisoning in dogs, etc…
    They were genuine and they were kind.
    When the ordeal was over I told the doctor how grateful I was for her and everyone on the staff.
    Then she choked up.
    Evidently, they don’t hear that very often.
    God bless all those who serve in their vocations with care and compassion…

  10. Michael,

    Your post reminds me of motto of the ELCA: God’s work. Our hands.

    The “our” in the motto is much more expansive than what we mostly imagine.

  11. Thank you for the prayers, Michael… This is the second time hes dislocated his front leg – he gets a claw caught in the upholstery as he jumps up on the sofa… this time they want to sedate him, so we’re waiting to see what the old cat’s body can do…

    Blessed are the merciful … I hope they obtain mercy as promised- amen to bob, Michael and Jean

  12. “Evidently, they don’t hear that very often.“

    It is amazing how a simple kind word can change someone’s day in such a mean world. Well done.

  13. Life can indeed be very, very hard.

  14. Axle the car is home waiting to see if his dislocated shoulder can heal… don’t know what is best for a 19 year old cat… but we are grateful for the prayer – still praying for T’s cat here

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