Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Loss of a Pet Brings Grief, but God has a Plan

I lost my beloved dog of 13 years last week. He had shown no sign other than old age. Suddenly he hovered near me one night. I could tell something was wrong. I picked him up and held him for several hours–I stroked him, wondering what was wrong. He twisted–his way of saying, “I want to get down.” so I put him gently on the floor. He crawled under my chair and curled up. I heard him whimper and breathe irregularly. He died in the night and I found his little body curled as if asleep. We buried him that day and planted a tree over him in our garden. I miss him profoundly.

I understand my grief and the grief of others in this situation and wish each who has lost their dearly loved pet will find in the coming days that there are glimpses of peace and comfort. I am a Christian, a chaplain and I believe in the afterlife.

My God loves beautiful things as the creator of the infinite universe, galaxies, dimensions and quantum tachyons and our little world we call earth. My God is love. God does not waste precious resources.

I believe that the animal friends we are entrusted with during their short lives are one of God’s gifts to us to reflect unconditional love that God offers us. Humans struggle with unconditional love. Animals don’t seem to have difficulty with it at all.

My God of love who doesn’t waste creation has a plan for the well being of everything. Matthew speaks to God looking after the sparrows and flowers, saying that King Solomon was not arrayed as these. The God who loves us enough to care for flowers and sparrows, loves yours and my cat and/or dog. God has a plan.

God’s plans are often unfathomable. They are always loving, always wise and have our best at heart.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Kittens are Squeaking and Rolling around

The kittens are squeaking, much to the consternation of our mutt, Razzle (who maybe should be named Rascal) because she is part Pit bull and Doberman. Since both of those breeds are hunters, Razzle sees a squeaky animal is much better than a squeaky toy because they move. We have the kitten zone barricaded, but we are trying to introduce the pale squeakers to Razzle gently.

They need to interact safely and we give them both little doses of each other's scents. A basket full of kitties on the bed gives Razzle a chance to stick her nose at the edge and the little ones to reach up with their teeny paws and scratch her nose. Their little claws snag more than scratch; tickle more than hurt.

Their round faces have blue eyes with one exception--one has a pink eye and is pure white. Though they are nearly all white, faint markings are beginning to show. Since their parentage is a cross between Persian, Himalayan and Tabby, it will be interesting to see what emerges.

Leelu feeds and licks them well, so they are very clean and plump. Their teeny tiny paws don't sustain their plentiful bellies and round heads, so they mostly drag or roll around. Their bed is in a stack of soft towels, but they snuggle and pile on like a football game tackle rather than lie in a row like sardines. The hair is finally showing on their tails. When they're full grown, they'll have fluffy raccoon tails like Leelu's.

A source of pleasure to all, everyone traipses through the bedroom to peak in the closet drawer--the location which Leelu continues to insist is the best spot. Such is our daily routine, along with constantly replenishing mom's bowl of food and washing an amazing number of towels every day to keep pace with the six charmers whose main goal in life is to eat, poop & pee and, then sleep.

My job is going to increase as they grow bigger and I will need to scoop the litter box and catch the escapees as they go exploring. I take that back. That's what kids are for, right? LOL


Friday, May 22, 2009

Unimaginable pain

I usually don't write about pain. Life exists with pain. I try to be upbeat and positive. But I had a set back in my road to recovery from five back surgeries (1 major, 4 minor) in addition to the pain that remains from the surgeries they couldn't do because the prognosis was not a good one.

A simple action, bending, reversed the enormous progress I had made. Now I am crawling to locations. If I can get up, it is to walk with painful slowness, inching my way from my zero gravity chair (which takes pressure off the disk compression) to the bathroom and back. No amount of heavy drugs which the doctor has prescribed take it away. And I hate them because they make me feel dizzy and sleepy. My alertness disappears and stupidity reigns.

No position: sitting, lying, walking or standing/leaning puts me into a relaxed mode. Some positions cause more internal screaming than the others, but all remind me to be grateful for those days of lesser pain which allow movement without grunting. I'm not certain why some pain evokes an audible response, but I have discovered they do. This is one of those days. May it pass like a dream at the waking.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Leelu and the kittens - motherhood

I can't help seeing how similar Leelu's entrance into motherhood paralleled mine.

Leelu explored anywhere and everywhere, outside and inside; on the go and attractive to those she encountered.

I explored many lands and locations; researched diligently outside and inside and people I met indicated they appreciated my attention.

Motherhood descended upon Leelu and she spends her time nurturing her suckling little ones; remanded to the box I created for her.

Motherhood descended upon me and I nurture my little ones who, as they grow older, increase their demands on my time and energies. (Some days they seem to 'suck' the life out of me. LOL) Do I feel stuck? Honestly, somedays, yes. Most of the time, no. For the rewards outweigh the challenges.

Leelu creeps out of her box for short excursions while bugling-tummy-kitties doze in the plush towels bunched together to keep warm.

I creep out, through the net, while my little ones doze or are otherwise occupied--as long as they are satisfied.

Leelu returns to snuggle and comfort her precious charges the moment they whimper.

I turn to my precious charges when requested and give comfort and hugs when they let me.

Motherhood is motherhood...regardless of the species.


Friday, May 15, 2009

Brain fuel and rejeuvenation

I read that if I try something new each day; test myself a little that my brain will continue to 'grow' not as a child's brain grows, but with fresh transmitters. So I spend a little time each day on my own blog, playing Scrabble and Hangman. Silly, huh? But I'm testing and growing my brain while having some fun. I call it a win-win.
Welcome! Some days are challenging. Others are like walking across a misty bridge in solitary reflection; rolling so fast down a freshly mown grassy slope that reality is a blur; or waging war tossing armfuls of leaves in dying colors of orange, red, yellow and brown after raking them into piles or maybe, sliding down a snow covered slope on a sled with polished rails with the wind roughing your cheeks and hair wisping out the back from under a knit cap–an exercise in bliss. Whatever your day is like, I hope you will find encouragement, humor, solace, thought-provoking ideas and support from what you read here or the interaction you encounter.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Leelu and her Kittens

Leelu was barely a kitten when she slept with the wrong sort, the ugly gray cat down the block with the smashed face. Now she has six tiny babies with rat-like tails and translucent skin and fuzzy fur.

They haven't opened their eyes but that doesn't stop them from finding their place to suckle of mom's bounty. Seeing the gray hued fur on five of them, one standing out with pure white fur, lined up like sardines in a row; some suckling, others hanging on with their mouths, but asleep touches me with a sense of peace. All is right with the world.

Their pug faces are a tribute to the gray cat down the block. Mom has beautiful markings on her white fur. Her blue eyes stare with unflinching stance, taking in all activity around her. Aware always of the needs of her little ones--she knows when to relax and when to fight.

Speaking of fighting, two of the little ones vie for the same spot and blindly strike at each other with scrawny claws. Humorous to behold. It brings a smile to my day and I hope to yours.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Is Jesus Real and did the resurrection happen?

When faced with a query about the truth of Jesus and the resurrection, I submitted the following to the man who opened his blog for others to comment:

First, I would say that any belief starts from faith. For Christian faith, I believe God calls us and we respond to the love that distinguishes Christianity from other religions. This is an intangible, but no less valid that recognizing any expression of love.

Next, I submit that you ask God, directly, in the form of a prayer for guidance the exact question you seek. For example, “If I am to believe in the resurrection, can you not direct me to the answer?”

I trust that God meets us where we are and leads us step by step. God’s word is a light for our path Psalm 119 and shines on the path enough for us to take the next step.

On the idea of the veracity of the resurrection, I submit the following:

Jesus showed himself to witnesses: first the women, then Peter and John, then two on the road to Emmaus, then the eleven (including Thomas who touched his wounds for proof), and then to the 500 and then he was with the disciples again when he went to heaven. All of these instances are told in the gospels and Acts.

Jesus claimed to be the son of man and the Son of God able to forgive sins (Mark 4-no one can forgive save God alone)and John the baptizer witnessed the spirit descending on Jesus like a dove and the voice from heaven calling Jesus his son (with whom he was very pleased.)

Other historians (e.g. Josephus) corroborate Jesus’ real existence and the Quran references the prophet Jesus. Most historians accept the circumstance that there was a real person named Jesus about whom all these things are written.

I submit that claiming to be the son of God is a claim to made by either the true Son of God or by a crazy person. If I were to claim to be God’s only son, I would be escorted to a psychiatrist for abnormal behavior. This is because I am not that person and my behavior is aberrant if I claim I am. Would the Quran call me a prophet? I don’t think so. Would historians call me a prophet, a sage or someone to be revered? Yet, he is, consistently, called a prophet by others and not a “crazy person.”

Either Christ is crazy or he is who he says he is. Christ claims that they would kill him and in three days, he would rise again.(Matt 20) Either this is true or he is a false prophet.

Josephus, a Jew, and the writers of the Quran—two sources from faith groups that deny that Jesus is the son of God, speak of Jesus as the Christ, a prophet. They don’t speak of him as that crazy idiot who claimed foolishly that he was a prophet.

Proving something to be true, doesn’t make a believer, just as not being certain of what to believe make one an unbeliever. Fortunately, I am not God, the judge nor am I applying for the position. The truth of belief that people seem so ardently challenging you to follow is ultimately a question that only you and God can answer.

I applaud your search. Paul commended the Bereans as people who studied diligently. It is only in the constant study and examination that we will truly find the truth. The truth can set us free. Free to be more Christ-like, gentle with sinners and critical of arrogance.

I hope that I was of some benefit in your search.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I pray for the living when someone has died

I pray for the living when someone has died

For the living must go on when they want to hide

I pray for the living when someone has died

The love goes on, but no longer is there pride

For there is much to do and so little time

And yet the time seems to crawl by

As conflicting feelings well up and pry

Open all the pain and joy that no longer is mine.

I pray for the living when someone has died

For the living must go on when they want to hide.

The AP reported the world news: In Turkey masked gunman killed 44 at a wedding including the bride and groom, but two girls survived when their slain friends fell on top of them. I cried for people I don’t know. How could a day that is supposed to be filled with such hope and joy be destroyed.

The AP reported that 5 were killed in Pakistan by a suicide bomber; lives laid waste by false beliefs that the God of love would honor people who destroy themselves and others. Tears well up for the families of those who won’t see their loved ones coming home.

The number of dead from the swine flu is diminishing. The world took the pandemic fears seriously. I read a blog of someone who claimed the swine flu was overrated. Sometimes damned if you do or don’t. Because people took the CDC seriously and prevented exposure and washed thoroughly and we didn’t lose 200,000 people as in the early 1900s then we are overreacting? I don’t think so. We escaped a disaster of staggering proportions. And for everyone who died there is a family or group of friends left behind.

When I was nine I lost my dad and I began a poem that I finished when I was older. Still the parts of pain that a 9 year old understood amaze me today. Profound.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Words of Wisdom

Solomon wrote that there is nothing new under the sun. (Ecclesiastes) Others have expressed it as 'everything old is new again.' Perhaps this is why truisms have such a long life. They start as simple truths. Others recognize it and glom on to using the phrases.

There are some people whose words may be directed at a specific audience e.g. writers, but whose words are transcendent because one can substitute other nouns e.g. any trade, within the sentence and the thought remains true.

The Http:// is like that. Lynn writes with such honesty and clarity that her blog consistently rises to the top of worthwhile reads.

Her blog today addresses publishers that seem too good to be true. As is true in all walks of life, be wary of those things which seem too good to be true, they probably are.

My mother used to quote the adage, "Things are seldom as they seem, for skim milk masquerades as cream."

Lynn writes five points: Beware of doing business with one who:
Says Looky me! versus working and building relationships within industry.
Is more Arrogance than confidence (where is their real focus?)
Has an Agenda of their own (which may be to your detriment)
Deals with you in an abusive way, expecting you to save them
P.O. or burn bridges with contacts and resources.

She expresses it better. It's worth checking out her full article...she cites specifics to support her claims. While it's directed at the publishing industry, its value is far beyond one industry. Her words are priceless to those of us who follow her.