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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Run Home

Photo Credit:  Irish_Eyes at
A couple of weeks ago, we had a little “incident” with our 3-month-old puppy, Belle.  Thinking that the third time would be the charm, the kids and I attempted to take her for a walk on a leash for just a quick jaunt down our road.

Our Belle loves her freedom, so the leash thing isn’t really her style at this point.  She hops up and down like a circus dog while it’s on.  Just.  keep.  trying.  Anyway, she actually calmed down enough to enjoy the short walk, while exploring every hole, somersaulting leaf, and random bug along the way.

The “incident” occurred toward the end of our walk when we stopped to talk to our neighbors.  My son was talking to our neighbor in her front yard, while holding Belle’s leash.  The girls and I headed to her house to sell a few Fall Fest raffle tickets to her husband.

We knocked on the door and waited.  Their dog was in the house, but slipped out onto the front porch when the door opened.  Being a good guard dog, he was barking and pacing and I gathered that he was not terribly okay with our close proximity to their house. 

Then, the dog became as still as a statue and fixed his eyes upon Belle.  There was an immediate lump in my throat – for one, because my son was in the direction of his stare and secondly, because I had no idea what was going to happen next to our puppy.

In two seconds or less, their dog jumped across the yard and pounced on Belle.  I froze where I stood and screamed to no one in particular.  I could only see the two dogs tumbling around, my son standing there crying, and my poor neighbor trying to help Belle.  But, as fast as lightning, Belle got away and bolted toward our house, literally flying over the cattle guard in one leap and whimpering the whole way home.

I grabbed the girls and we flew home just as fast to see how my son and Belle were doing.  I don’t remember running home, I just remember that I had my eyes set on…home.  I couldn’t get there fast enough.

Fortunately, Belle and my son were fine – a little shook-up, but completely fine.  My son was upset because he felt so helpless during the brawl.  I assured him that all would be well and that we would keep Belle close to home for awhile.

In a very similar way, I felt helpless last week myself.  My mom called me on Thursday and said that she would need an emergency appendectomy.  At the time, she had been told that there was a possibility that it had ruptured.  The word, “emergency” is scary to me.  I don’t like emergencies.  I don’t deal well with emergencies.  I have a hard time gaining my composure in that “emergency” moment to really let go and let God.  My heart wants to, but my body won’t seem to let me as easily.

But, throughout that day, as my mom filled out paperwork, got test results back, and prepared to have surgery, I prayed and I asked my family and friends to pray for her too.  The day was sprinkled with different “moments” – highs and lows.  During the moments that I was truly able to hand it over to God, I was at peace – true peace.  But, during the moments that I started to “what if? think” and try to take control of the situation myself…I cried and crumbled.

I don’t like to see my loved ones in a hospital bed getting ready for surgery – who does?  There is such a helplessness there.  We kiss them and tell them we love them and then we have to let them go for awhile.  They are not in our hands.  Physically, they are in the surgeon’s hands.  Spiritually, they are in God’s hands…like they ALWAYS are.

It reminds me of something very important.  God is, in fact, always there.  He isn’t the one who moves.  We do.

I’m blessed to say that my mom’s surgery went very well and I have said many prayers of thanksgiving for that!  Her appendix had not ruptured as they thought and that made a big difference in the outcome, I think.  I’m sure that God touched her in a special way that day.

Nonetheless, I have thought much about the Belle incident and my mom’s recent surgery.  Belle knew exactly where to run.  She ran home.  Technically, she flew there.  But, she knew she’d find comfort at home.  She knew she’d find love there.  And, similarly, I was most at peace when I chose to run “home” as well during my mom’s hospital stay…home to the only One who could give me comfort at an uncertain time…home to the only One who could understand and calm my fears…home to the only One who knew what I needed before I even asked.

And, who exactly is it that we run home to?  Into what type of arms do we fly?  What kind of king welcomes us at the door?  Here is a short reflection by Ernest Ohlhoff describing who it is that we run home to:

There is no limit to what we can accomplish when we don't care who gets the credit.

Jesus Christ's life on earth exemplifies a total submission to the will of the Father. His humility, compassion, gentleness and thoughtfulness are reflected over and over again in the New Testament. He was God incarnate, yet He chose to be born to a humble, working class home.

How absurd it must have seemed to the rich and powerful that the Son of God, the Messiah, the one foretold by the prophets, the 'King of the Jews' was born and raised as a simple peasant.

During His thirty-three years on earth, He sought no riches, claimed no secular power and gathered no possessions. Yet, His short time on earth changed more lives, softened more hearts, and gave hope to more people, than all the rich and powerful human 'kings' combined.

And, at the end of His life on earth, by dying on the cross, He opened the door to eternal life for those who heed his words and follow in his footsteps.”

Let’s not forget to run home…His door is always open.  When I feel helpless, vulnerable or alone, I have to remind myself that He isn’t the one who moved.  I’m the one who moved… away from “home.”

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