Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Frou-Frou Dog

What a horrible morning.  One would think that after one has surrendered one’s life to Christ Jesus last Sunday that things would be a little easier.  I was almost prepared for Mother’s negative reaction; surrender is not something for which she has natural empathy.  What I wasn’t prepared for was her next move.  Yesterday she went to Grace Whittington’s and came back with the threatened frou-frou dog, a Bichon Frisé. 

Well, the dog is not house trained, and Mother let it roam around freely last night.  Usually, in the morning, I swing my feet out of bed and slip on my red velvet Albert Slippers.  This morning was different than all other mornings.  I rolled out of bed and put my foot in a puddle of something wet on the Kermin carpet in our bedroom.  I looked around for my Albert Slippers.  One was a sodden well chewed mess across the room by my Louis XVI Armoire, the other was under the bed.  I could have wept in frustration. 

As was my early morning custom I went to the kitchen and took down the Brown Betty teapot from the cabinet, filled it a quarter full of hot water from the electric kettle, swished it around, and placed several teaspoons of Irish Breakfast tea in the pot.  Then I looked around the kitchen and noticed an odiferous pile of something brown under the breakfast table.  By then I was fuming.  Of course I did the noble thing.  I got down on my knees and cleaned up the mess under the table; but I also resolved to have a firm word with Mother about the dog. 

After I calmed down I went to get a Royal Staffordshire mug from the cabinet.  Just as I lifted the mug, the dog waddled into the kitchen and tugged forcefully on my silk damask pajama leg and I dropped the mug on the floor and it shattered.  I am ashamed to admit that at that point I gave vent to a few choice gutter phrases.  I had quite enough of the frou-frou dog, and if the dog hadn’t fled at my outburst, I swear I would have kicked it.

The problem is not really the language, but the feeling of having lost control.  I felt terrible!  I was on my knees cleaning up shards of shattered china when it occurred to me that this was the second time this morning that I had been on my knees, and neither time had I been praying.  It was with mixed resentment and embarrassment that I pondered over the situation but it seemed clear, at the very least, that I was looking at an unlovely side of my nature that was of interest to my God.  It seems that I do not like to be thwarted or inconvenienced.  Ouch!

Becoming a Christian has some demands that I wasn’t prepared for.  Guilt over stupid stuff has a way of hammering at the inner man.  Oh, well, I knew the remedy, I just didn’t want to co-operate with the extended grace.  When I figured that out, I got down on my knees, right there in the kitchen, and prayed.  Having done that I felt better, but now the question arises, just how am I going to adjust to the frou-frou dog?

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.  Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” [Hebrews 4:15-16].  

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