Well, two dogs, actually.
And a cat and a half.
The half cat being the little gray cat that has lived
in our garage for the last couple of years. How he survives the winter is
beyond me! Well, aside from all the food we give him.
But the dogs... one is a minpin (miniature doberman
pinscher- who doesn't seem to grasp the "miniature" part!). The other is the
goofy black German Shepherd Heeler mix we got from the shelter.
Blackie is driving me crazy.
He is about 100 years old now, in dog years, and
beginning to finally show it. His back legs go out from under him randomly when
he tries to walk – climbing up the stairs to get up to our bedroom is
very much just that – an adventurous climb. And when he goes down, it is
more of a tumble.
And he itches.
I don't know if it's allergies or dry skin or what,
...as his leg beats on our pineboard floors. And he
always seems to purposely pick the stairwell to scratch, where the sound is
most amplified and echoes through the house (which he can no longer hear!).
It drives me crazy.
So last night he climbs up on our bed as he always
does, and for the whole evening we are watching NCIS reruns he sleeps quietly.
And then we decide to turn off the lights and go to sleep.
It's like when I turned off the light I turned on the
All of a sudden he can't get comfortable and crashes
off the bed to the floor. Bam! He paces around the room, click click click
click, his nails tapping on the wood floor.
It's like the Chinese water torture.
I pull a pillow over my head.
Finally he settles down to go to sleep.
A few moments later...
He struggles back onto the bed.
Back down to the floor.
He is totally restless.
Finally he crashes down the stairs in his almost-controlled
tumble... bang bang bang bang bang.
From down in the kitchen I hear...
He didn't used to bark at all when he wanted
something. He'd just stand and look at you. Now he barks. I look at the clock.
It's almost 11:00. I drag myself out of bed and go down to the kitchen to see
what he wants. Water? The dish is empty, so maybe. I fill it again. Food? No,
there is still some food left.
Does he want to go outside? I go to put him out but he
plants his feet to stop me.
So, with nothing else to do, I go back up to bed.
Five minutes later...
I peel myself out of bed again and go to see what he
This time he wants to go out, so I put him on the
leash and drag him out the back door. He just sits on the steps. I figure I am
up, so I might as well have a bowl of ice cream while I wait for him.
Five minutes later he starts to bark so I bring him
back in and shuffle back up to bed. From under the covers I hear him struggle
up the stairs. It sounds like someone dragging a sack of bowling pins up the
wooden stairs. But he makes it to the top and click click click click back into
our room and I feel him pull himself onto the bed, circle a couple of times and
finally settle in to go to sleep.
I shift around trying to find a comfortable sleeping
position and by some mystical magic find the most absolute, most comfortable
position I have ever found! It is heaven!
And then I hear Blackie crash to the floor again.
...his foot bangs on the floor.
And then a few seconds later... bang... tumble.... bang... the
bag of bowling pins crashes down the stairs.
I pull the pillow tighter over my head to try to block
out any sound.
It doesn't work.
A minute or two later...
I am beside myself!
I fly out of bed and stomp down the stairs...
I put him outside again, this time I pull him down the
steps and onto the sidewalk... me in my pajamas and bare feet on the ice cold
cement in the middle of November.
A few minutes later I drag him back into the house and
fume back upstairs and into bed.
Blackie follows me and climbs back onto the end of the
bed. I pull two pillows over my head – but still can hear the lick lick
lick lick lick...
I don't think I got a whole lot of sleep last night.
So finally around 4:00 this afternoon I couldn't stay
awake any longer and went up to take a nap. I fell into bed and pulled the
covers around me.
Blackie at the back door wanting to go out.
So cut to tonight.
It's 11:30, and here I am, sitting at the computer.
All evening Blackie slept peacefully at the foot of
our bed while we read. The moment I turned the light off to go to sleep...
You guessed it.
It was an encore performance.
Up and down the stairs, in and out of the house.
Finally I dragged myself back up the stairs – to
find Blackie lying in MY spot of the bed. I just did my best to squeeze myself
in around him. The thing about Blackie is, he wants to be near me – but
not THAT near me. So he picks himself up and moves to the other corner of the
I can't take it anymore!!!!
I don't know what to do for him. He is driving me
crazy. I can't sleep.
What can I do??!!
And so I prayed.
"Dear Lord, please ease Blackie's torment, whatever it
is. Give him peace, give him rest. Heal whatever it is that is wrong." Yeah, I
know, a completely ridiculous thing to be praying for – praying for a
dog. And completely selfish – I needed to get some SLEEP. Surely God has
more important things to tend to, running the UNIVERSE and all.
But I had just been to a Bible study at church earlier
this evening, where we are studying the Gospel of Mark. Tonight we read four
stories of Jesus' power. In the four stories, one right after the other, Jesus
demonstrates his power over the wind and the waves, His power to drive out
unclean spirits, His power to heal the sick, and finally His power to bring the
dead to life.
And so as I prayed, I knew for absolute certainty that
Jesus COULD ease Blackie's torment.
I had no doubt at all.
And then it hit me.
I knew for absolute certainty that God heard my prayer.
It wasn't, well, maybe I'll get through. Maybe God is
listening. Maybe God will have time for me. Maybe God has a moment. Maybe I am
worthy of His attention.
The absolutely astounding thing is that God hears my
prayers - our prayers - ALWAYS. Not because I am good enough, or worthy to be
listened to – but because it is just WHO GOD IS.
Not because I am good – but because GOD IS GOOD.
Now, the moment that utterly amazing reality hit
– that the God of the universe
is that kind of an incredibly loving God – the God of all things, the creator
of all things, listens to ME, has time for ME... ALWAYS – because,
incredibly, that is just the WHO HE IS...
...I had to jump up and come down here and write it
So, I don't know if Blackie is up there scratching
away - or sleeping peacefully. I don't know how God answered my prayer. God may not always answer my
prayers the way I want or hope or expect. But I DO KNOW THIS.
He always hears me!
And He ALWAYS responds in LOVE. Always. Every time. Without fail. I may
not see it just yet. I may not understand it – but I know it is true. He
can't help Himself. It IS who God IS.
That reality blows me away.