Friday, December 12, 2008

A Time to Hold On

Hello friends,

It has taken much searching to know what to say today. I’m always overflowing with words. I can usually hand out advice in colorful metaphors, and to tell you the truth, I’m ashamed. Who am I to tell others how they should run their lives? And, honestly, it always annoys me when it is done to me.

We are living in dangerous times, and the enemies at the gate are poverty and want. One out of seven families are being evicted from their homes. Thousands of Moms and Dads, sisters and brothers, spouses and sweethearts will celebrate yet another year, without a loved one, or perhaps more. Loved ones are gone. Our children of every age have made the ultimate sacrifice. Little ones will grow up without parents. Oh, the list goes on and on. It’s hard. I know. And it’s hard to hold on while the rope is slipping between our grasp.

So why would I choose this picture of my dachshund, Happy Dog, to illustrate my message today, “Hold On.” It’s very simple. Happy Dog is the epitome of holding on in the face of adversity. Kennel cough. Mange. Two spinal surgeries, a month a part. From each of these Happy has come through with unmitigated joy. Barking. Dancing. Leaping. Loving. Always protecting and loving me. Happy not only survives, he LIVES!!

So, here is my little gift to you, the story of Happy Dog and his courage in the face of fire. Even now, he lays with a broken tail that must be surgically removed. I fully expect that Happy will survive this step also, and teach me again, how to live.

Just Hang On By Jaye Lewis

He dogs my every footstep. With each step I take, he’s right there with me, guarding me and ready to die to defend me. I have seen him take on the most aggressive vacuum cleaner salesmen. God help the one who sticks his foot in the door without invitation, because my little powerhouse of faithfulness and aggression will give that foot a fight for it’s life, shoes, socks, and laces!

Make no mistake, a dachshund may be small, but they are quick, and relentless in an attack. They aren’t called “badger dogs” without cause. In their natural habitat, a dachshund has been known to track a badger - one of the fiercest animals known - hurrying down into it’s tunnel, and locking onto it’s snout, never letting go, not even in death.

When I leave the house without him, whether it’s just a walk around the yard or a day trip to the next town, Happy will keep watch at the top of the stairs. With every sound, he will launch himself onto the back of the couch, to get a good look out of the window, to see if I’m almost home. I can hear him announcing my arrival before I even get out of the car.

“She’s home!!” he cries. “She’s home! She’s home! All is well!” As I open the door, he immediately gives me a tongue lashing, yelping with joy! I try to always have a “present” for him, and I delight at his enthusiasm, as he roots through the bag until he finds it.

Happy has a perfect bandit face, a black mask surrounded by rich, golden tan. His ice-cube nose is ever questing for a treat or just a warm place to cuddle. He has shoe-button eyes that never miss an opportunity. And when he locks those intelligent eyes onto mine, I lose all power to resist.

Happy, like all dachshunds, loves to tease and play. Every clever thing he does is simple evidence that even a woman my age can be taught “new tricks.” He brings me the ball. I throw it. He steals my slippers. I chase him. The worst thing you can do, in the face of improper behavior, is laugh! I, joyfully, failed that test long ago. I am Happy’s willing slave. No matter how dark my mood, Happy can always make me laugh.

Happy doesn’t know that there are not “badgers” lying in wait. He’s always prepared, just in case, and I have learned much from this little dog. I have learned that a faithful life is one of constant vigilance. I have learned that some things are worth fighting for, and if necessary, dying for. However, the greatest lesson that Happy has taught me, is to live my life in the moment, just as he does, ever joyful for each blessing, ever vigilant for those “badgers” that are certain to cross my path. And when life takes a nasty turn, I have learned from Happy, to grab a hold and just hang on! By Jaye Lewis

© Jaye Lewis, 2003
Father in Heaven, in this helpless, sometimes hopeless time, help us to cling to hope...the hope that only You can give. Grant us peace in knowing that You, not "man" is in charge. Let the noise of the world become powerless before Your peace of soul. Lord, show us the way. Grant us a vision of Your light, and set our feet upon the right path. Father, may You grasp our feet and make our path straight before us. We believe, Lord, help our unbelief.
With love,
Jaye Lewis

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