A lot has happened in the two months since my last post here. A few days after my last post in October, we had a freak accident in our house that resulted in the loss of one of our precious Shelties. Our older one, Picture Perfect Spenser, had a bad fall going down our basement stairs early one morning for his first trip outside. Nothing unusual about this particular morning…just a simple tumble down the stairs. No immediately apparent serious injuries, but by the afternoon when my wife got home he was partially paralyzed.
After tests, back surgery, continued deterioration over the weekend and lots of tears and questions why, we made the decision to let him go. A faithful companion for seven years, a loving and deeply loved part of our family, taken by a simple slip on the stairs.
I tried many times in the past eight weeks to write about it, but the nearness of the loss and then intervening busy-ness kept me from it. So here I am tonight, about seven years to the day from when we brought him home reminiscing about the lessons I learned from his life. Phillip Keller is a much better writer that I am, and much of what he wrote in “Lessons from a Sheepdog” applies to what we learned from Spenser.
Beyond the lessons about what love is like and what our relationship with God is like, as Keller describes in his book, I’m thinking about the fragility of life. As I walk downstairs tonight after I finish writing, I could fall and be gone from this life in the blink of an eye. This is one of the consequences of a fallen world. Most of my time is spent dealing with preserving what could be gone in that instant. Yet I am reminded of Jesus’ words about birds and flowers and grass and me. I am called to seek first his Kingdom, to keep my eyes on what God values, to press on to his higher calling. To remember that, like our Spenser depended on us for everything he had, for his very life, I am dependent on a God who is vastly more generous that I will ever dream of being…who has lavished his grace on me. Hallelujah!