Lessons from a blind Chihuahua

When I tell people I haDSCF1228ve a blind Chihuahua, I get two main reactions. The first, some kindly-phrased variation of “What is the point? Put the poor thing out of his misery.” The second, some overtly-gushing variation of “What a saint you must be! Taking care of a poor needy little thing like that.” Neither is accurate. The lessons learned from my blind Chihuahua far exceed any effort I have put forth for his care. My little guy has absolute, without-fail, non-wavering trust that I will meet his needs. He has learned to listen to my voice. “Watch out!” is my key phrase when he gets too close to an obstacle. He will stop and wait patiently for me to scoop him up, relocate him, and set him back on his feet. He then proceeds to move forward as if he has no concern for where he is headed or what obstacles are in his way. This summer, I drove with him from Minnesota to Ohio. I wasn’t sure how he would handle all the new environments: rest areas, motels, relatives. He handled everything exactly as he would at home. In a strange state, with strange smells, strange noises, even strange grass, he never wavered. I would set him down someplace and off he would go, sniffing and taking care of business as usual. In a five-day-trip, he whined only twice. Both times were to remind me that it was time for a potty-break. He never barked once.

When God says “watch out!” do I stop and wait patiently for Him to redirect me? More often than not the answer is no. I tend to forge ahead until I’ve really gotten myself into a fix and then I decide to listen to God. When I find myself in strange and unfamiliar situations or surroundings, do I trust that God is in control of everything? Again, no. I worry and wonder and fret about what is going to happen or what I should do.

I am not worthy of my blind Chihuahua’s trust. I have let him bump into things when I’m not paying attention. I’ve let him get trapped in obstacles I should have guided him around. I have even walked him off a curb without thinking, only realizing how it was a relatively big step for him after the jerk on the leash alerted me he was face down on his nose. Still, he trusts me.

God is worthy of trust. And yet, I struggle. My prayer today? Lord, please let me be like a blind Chihuahua.

Two years gone by already?

My youngest has had the flu for about 10 days, so I escape the puke, snot, poop routine and sink down into my tub to relax. As I peer across the frothy bubbles I wonder how many little kids with jerry cans it would take to fill my antique clawfoot tub? It isn’t a question driven by guilt. I am not so foolish as to suppose that denying myself this much-needed pleasure would provide a drink to anyone in a developing country. But I do wonder why I am here, why they are there, and in the year of 2013 what does it really mean to be my brother’s keeper? I gaze at my incredibly white little toes propped against the rim of the tub and realize that Uganda has left its mark on me. I have tan lines on my feet.

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