PRAY: Prayer for Mercies in the Midst of Pain (Duchess, R.I.P.)
I’ll never forget today.
This summer, we added a second dog to our family. Our sweet Australian Shepherd mix, Promise, is getting old. In fact, in the first part of 2012, she seemed to be going downhill rapidly. She moved much more slowly. Her hearing disappeared. She slept most of the time.
In June (amidst the turmoil of my father’s final illness), our oldest daughter brought us a beautiful red merle Aussie mix, Duchess. And Duchess brought love, warmth, and activity to our home. At first, she exhausted her adopted older sister. But soon, Promise was jumping up with her to greet us when we came home and trotting instead of dragging on our walks. The young revived the old. And the combination blessed us all.
I won’t drag out the details, but our precious Duchess was killed early this morning. I grieve for her as well as for my husband and children, all hopelessly in love with our newest family member. My husband had the terrible task of taking Duchess’ body to the farm of some dear friends for burial. I offered to go with him but he refused, saying I needed to stay with our children. He was right.
Tom was not expecting the youngest son of the family who owns the farm to join his work. But this young man, who has also lost pets, understood our sorrow. In fact, Tom said, he kept on digging, refusing to stop until he was sure the hole was deep enough, wide enough, and completely ready.
When I think about this young man and his gift of loving service, I think of the women who anointed Jesus’ body for burial—including the one who did so with tears washed over his feet.
I’m not calling my young friend by name because I don’t believe his parents want it online. But as I was talking to God about the whole situation, He showed me His mercy in the midst of pain: mercy in the form of the heartbroken man whose truck hit Duchess. Mercy in the form of a neighbor who stopped to hold me as I wept. Mercy in the form of another neighbor who did the same for my husband.
And mercy in the form of a nine-year-old boy, digging and digging until he got it just right.
Lord, Thank you for your always tender-mercies, even and especially in the midst of pain. Will you somehow use our hurt to prepare us to celebrate your coming? Help us pull together as a family—and help us lean harder into you. In Your holy name, AMEN.