I am a dog liker. I am not a dog lover. I particularly like dogs that hunt, catch Frisbees, catch bad guys and do other helpful things. I have a dog that does none of those things but I like my dog a lot. She is very sweet and likable. She also was very helpful in answering a request from Hannah Grace and Joel. A few years back they decided we needed another child in the family. They decided this without their parents participation or approval. When we explained that we felt we were a little advanced in years (just a tiny bit little) to be having another child (and didn't feel God leading us that way though both children did), they said, "Let's adopt one from China." Hannah Grace is our biological child and Joel is our adopted child from China. So, they know this works both ways.
Being the kind, considerate and sometimes wise parents that we are, we agreed to this request. We went to the pound, adopted a sweet female dog and named her Mei Mei. Mei Mei is Chinese for little sister. They now have a little sister.
So, I like outside dogs. I do not like inside dogs. If you have an inside dog, I like yours as long as he/she is not jumping on me, licking me or barking when I'm trying to have a conversation with you. Our dog never (as in NEVER) comes in the house. I do have several reasons for that. I changed my children's diapers when they were small. That was not enjoyable. I believe cleaning up after a dog would be less enjoyable. I cleaned up after messes my children made when they were small. I do not plan on cleaning up after a dog has chewed my furniture, tore the drapes, messed up clothes,etc. I also feel when (because those things probably are going to happen at some point with an inside dog) it would not be happy day for the dog or me (or any other member of the family).
Last night, the low here was around 15-16 degrees. Usually, when the temps get that low, I put Mei Mei in a kennel in the shed. I will turn a light on her to help her stay warm. But 16 degrees? That's just really cold. So, I decided to have a compassionate first. Yes, I broke my rule and I suggested and brought the dog into the house. I did have a couple of rules. If the dog barks in the night, she goes to the shed. If the dog whimpers and cries in the night, she goes to the shed. If the dog interrupts my sleeping in any way, she goes to the shed. If the dog somehow gets out of the kennel and makes a mess (it is amazing how things like that can happen and it's nobody's fault), I will not clean it up. OK, so I may not win a compassion award but it's a step in the right direction. It's also a first.
MEI MEI IN THE KENNEL INSIDE
So Mei Mei spent her first night inside. She did not bark. She did not whimper. She did not interrupt my sleep. She did not make a mess. She probably was very grateful - if dogs can be grateful.
So, I learned that compassionate acts do bring a risk. Will I be hurt? Will it cause me some discomfort? Am I willing to do something I said I would not do to be compassionate? Will I lose a bit of sleep? In the human realm, our compassion may be misused. You can give someone money and they may go buy drugs or beer with it. There is a very low risk of that with Mei Mei. All of those are possibilities. If I only look at the bad possibilities, I'll never reach in compassion to anyone. Here's another way of looking at it. Will someone thank God for my compassion toward them? Only, if I'm willing to take a risk.
So, Mei Mei spent the night. She was happy. The kids were happy. I slept better than if she had been in the shed. Hopefully, I came across as less of a "fuddy-duddy" Daddy.
Ephesians 4:32-And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
Everybody Happy Happy Happy.
Sometimes breaking a rule for the abundant life
3 things I thank God for today:
1. The bypass around Georgiana is open
2. A warm and quiet dog
3. God is compassionate