Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Shunning.

I had a dream the other  night.
I woke up feeling like my stomach was twisted up inside.
It seemed so real, but so ridiculous, too.

I dreamed that my mother was shunning me.


He sits there staring at me.

He watches every move I make.
I wiggle my toe, and he instantly turns to see what is there.

I curl  my tongue and whistle, just barely letting the noise slip through my lips.

He sits up, his head tilting to see what I might mean.

I smile.

His tail wags.


Now if you know my mother,
you know the last thing she could ever do is to shun somebody hurtfully.
She might feel angry at disrespectful people and I suppose she would ignore you to a point if she felt you were mocking her or being rude,
but if you come to her and talk,
she would never shun anybody.

But her daughters?  There isn't any way possible she could shun us.

I feel very loved by my mother,
my mother-in-law as well.

They are both the most loving, kind women I know.
Both of them will not tolerate evil, but they will always love people.

In my dream, it hurt so badly when I tried to talk to her and she turned and walked away.
Funny how a dream can seem so real, and the internal pain can be more painful than physical pain.
I have no idea what caused this bizarre dream; maybe I shouldn't eat almonds before bed.

It made me think of the Amish, with their religion, how they shun those who leave the faith.
It doesn't sound like much, but that moment in my dream was so unbearable.
What a harsh reality.

More acutely, it made me think of Jesus,
the rejection of God turning His back on Him when he was on the cross for those hours of darkness.
Jesus words were not,
"Why must I bear this pain?"

but instead the verse says,
"And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"
Mt. 27:46 

That forsaking, that feeling of being shunned or turned away from by the one you love,
the one whom He had never been without,
the harsh reality of what hell would be,
and he suffered it for our sins...

if you have ever felt that terrible pain of being shunned by somebody you love,
the thought is too immense to imagine Jesus' pain.

It seems silly for me to even be talking about a dream or the loyalty of dogs
in the same discussion with the death of Christ,
but I am sure He knows my simplicity and the intent of my heart.

After all, I sometimes wonder if Jesus didn't ever scratch the neck and say some kind words to a tired donkey,
or if he sang along when He heard a bird's song,
or scratched the chin of a cat rubbing at his feet,

or patted the head of a faithful dog companion lying on the floor in his carpentry shop before he left to complete his ministry on earth. 

He was there in the beginning at the creation of the dog 
and knew he would become the best friend of many.

He knew that in a dog was a picture of devoted loyalty,
of never shunning the ones he loves. 

We tend to be hurtful, us humans.
We say things in anger or when we don't understand situations.
We judge each other, criticize, hold grudges, spew thoughts that may be hurtful because we don't see the pain of the person whose ears they fall on.
We shout out from our own little box
while the rest of the world stands in a different place,
and if our words aren't wrapped in the packaging of 1 Corinthians 13,
it is harmful, no matter what the words may be.

Sometimes, it is those of our own faith that we are hardest and most critical of,
as if the Holy Spirit cannot direct without our pointing fingers and banging fists.

It can bring pain.

It may be shunning.

If only we could bathe our words in love before we said any of them.
I wish I could: the mastery of the tongue.

Perhaps if we did,

we'd be like that dog sitting by my feet:
kind, trusting, waiting, watching patiently,
protective of his family.
They love in their friendly silence.

Perhaps that is why they are man's best friend.


  1. Thankful that God never shunned me! Yes, I think we all need help with our words. I know I do.


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