Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Black Hole

There is a black hole under the desk where I do much of my work. At that desk I ponder, study, and compose my sermons. She often accompanied me in my work from her place next to my feet. Cassidy, our family canine company for the last few years, was a "gift" from our oldest daughter.

She came first to us on loan. Abigail was moving to California for a "few years" and the place where she would live did not allow dogs so could we keep Cassidy for "a few months?" That was five years ago. She was black as night and unless she just returned from her trip to the groomer her long, thick black hair resulted in her resembling a small black bear with four legs.

She was a rescue dog that Abigail found beside the road. She was obviously abused and was very pregnant. Abigail cared for her and I suppose distributed the offspring. Cassidy had a good deal of Chow in her and an almost black with purple laced tongue betrayed her heritage.

She was about the gentlest dog I've ever met. The only time she would bark was if the door bell rang. She gave up running years ago even before she tore an ACL that prevented her from hopping up the steps. Often she would collapse spread eagle on the floor as her legs gave way. We would have to either help her up the steps or pull her up from her flattened position on the floor.

She was completely deaf, partially blind, and as I just mentioned could walk around only within limits. Of late she started pacing a lot like she was looking for something that she could not ever find. She ceased to be a pet a few years ago and became someone we needed to care for. But then that is the fine print of the whole pet thing. They give unconditionally to you and the favor is one of return.

Sometimes she would look up at me from under the desk with a look that said something like, "You know you are intruding on my space here. This is not really a desk, it is 'my black hole' and I do not remember inviting you here." She was so black herself that she almost disappeared in that recessed space just beyond my feet. Once in a while her snoring reminded me she was there.

We did the merciful thing the other day and "put her down." That is such a strange phrase but it is applicable because to put her down was to somehow put us down too. Though she was often invisible in her hole she was quite present in our lives as only an animal can be.

So now we have another kind of black hole in our lives for a while at least. I keep looking for her under the desk. I can still smell her. She left me with the scent of a memory and she left me with more. She left me with those penetrating eyes that seemed to say in her last few years, "I know you're having to take care of me and I appreciate it." Can any creature on this tiny speck of dust show more appreciation than a dog?

So now Cassidy you've gone beyond that black hole to wherever place it is that souls like you go. Heaven may be full of such love as you gave. I'll continue to look at that dark space under my desk in days to come...and I'll remember.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Sky is Falling
(ok here is a “poem” based on the satellite that fell on us recently…It inspired some rather childish thoughts on my part.)

Space junk up in the sky
Falling our way, my O my
Millions of dollars burnt right up
While smiling TV faces tell us “to duck”

Seems everything thrown up
Must come down
Speaking of throwing up
The S&P doth make me frown

The Sky is falling yes indeed
Doomsday predictions are the latest creed
News from Greece jerks the chain
And the screams from traders inflicts great pain

Tell those guys on Wall Street
To quit watching the news
They’re playing with my money
They aim to confuse

Let’s all calm down while looking on high
Not at space junk up in the sky
But to One who is smiling at our need to control
The One who planted down deep in our soul…

The ability to wonder what it’s all about
I wonder if God is about ready to shout,
“Hey kids settle down and take a deep breath
You’re always acting like you’re scared to death

The sky is not falling in spite of your ‘junk’
Though in your test of faith you often flunk
I’m still in love with your speck of dust in the sky
And you’re still my children, my O my”