Love, Betrayal and Raising a Puppy

img_3868I walked in the back door and found her sobbing. Tears streaming down my Little’s face, I approached her magnetized by her pain and wanting to fix it with a hug.
“Whats wrong, honey?” I inquired all concern.
“Teddy bit me!,” she snarfed.
I looked down at her hand and there were two fresh skin wounds seeping red from sharp baby teeth. Daddy was looking for a Band-Aid to contribute his fix. But it wasn’t the flesh wound she was sobbing about, it was the gash to her heart.
The terrible ache of betrayal.
The shock of loving someone or something and then it bites you.

Every morning she gets up and walks the pup at sunrise then feeds him and trains him, cleans up his messes, brushes his teeth, even gives him a bath
and then he turns around and attacks her when she thought she could trust him.

img_3872

My Big Girl describes betrayal like this, “It’s as if someone punched your soul in the gut and knocked the breath out of your childhood.”
My Little is living it out tonight with her puppy.

And who hasn’t been winded by a relational punch in the stomach? And who hasn’t dealt the blow?
It might be a friend with whom you shared your deepest, darkest secrets and then they used them against you.
Or someone at church, who slandered your reputation with gossip.
It could have been a backstabbing co-worker or a boss who misused his authority to shame you.
Or maybe it was a relative who should have protected you but stalked your innocence instead.
And what about those boyfriends who told you they love you then threw you under the bus for a new crush or a better dream.
Or worse yet, a husband who cheapened your vows by gawking at 2 dimensional images of naked women instead of doing the hard work of relating to the real person he made promises to.
And sometimes it’s your children who squander your love and wisdom in pursuit of folly.

img_2295Like my Little, at some point we all walk wounded, aching and bleeding.
Then Jesus invites us to come to Him with our relational breaches and cry.
And He counts our tears in His bottle.
And carries us in His arms close to His heart.
We have a high priest who understands groaning.
Jesus knows what it’s like to be stabbed in the back.
He’s been on the receiving end of injustice till all His red blooded humanity spilt out on behalf of the whole ungrateful world.
And He gifts us with resilience and discernment so that instead of an exit strategy, we choose to fight for love and beauty in the trenches instead, partnering with his Spirit in the grunt work of relational repair.
Or sometimes He frees us to walk away and entrust all the brokenness to Him.

img_3449That injury we cleaned and sanitized, it’s actually a life lesson.
And I admire my Little. She’s learning to be resilient.
She’s out training her doggie right now.
But that bite, it will leave a scar.
All betrayals do.
And scars are nothing to be ashamed of because they make us look more like Jesus who embraced betrayal and loved us even when we didn’t love back.
That’s mercy.
Severe mercy.
But still mercy.
Morning by morning, always fresh and new, always enough.

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