Posted by: Donna Douglass | Friday July 3, 2020

Life Lessons from my Dog, Part 4

Sometimes our Aussi hounds me.

Sometimes she just does a drive-by lick to let me know she’s there and that she is still refusing to learn not to lick people (good luck with that lesson with a houseful of kids!). Other times she hounds me, tangling among my legs or resting her chin on my thigh and “talking” until I acknowledge her. Often the hounding is a request for scratches. Since I have the longest nails in the house, she likes my scratching the best, especially in shed-season.

Occasionally I’ll even go for the Grand Scratch and take her outside to be brushed. On those occasions, we settle in for the long haul, filling the sky above our lawn with wafting dog fluff. Reminiscent of the “sandwich method,” I usually do a brief enjoyable brush around her neck before detangling the less pleasant long rump hair. I finish in the middle, going over and over her sides and back. And over and over. And over. On the twentieth journey from shoulders to rump, every bit as much hair is still floating away on the light breeze as on the first pass.

Incredible. I could do this all day, and she’d still have just as much hair and yet I’d still get as much out every time. Kind of like little home-running tasks. When I’ve done a million of them in a day, there are still no less left to do. Clearly, it’s time to just take a break and play a game with a kid!

Posted by: Donna Douglass | Monday June 29, 2020

Life Lessons from my Kid

I don’t even remember what she did. But there I was, staring down my five-year-old, expecting some pithy answer to my “What do you need to do?” following some infraction or other. She tentatively stepped forward and wrapped her little arms around my legs. Obviously, I was way off. What was really needed was more love! Of course.

Posted by: Donna Douglass | Wednesday June 24, 2020

Bible lesson from life

Parts of my childhood were charmed, or so I’ve learned as an adult. Every holiday and for one week in the summer, all my cousins on my dad’s side gathered in Thornwood at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. It was just how things were.

Twenty acres of hillside forest, farm and lawn and a three-story stone house filled with nooks and crannies of character. We had a fort among the trees, took rides on the tractor, sledded around the house and down the long hill. We jumped the fish pond, galloped around the pasture and played hide-and-seek all over the house.

Thirty years later, I find that we also sipped soda on the porch swing, tossed chemicals into the fireplace to turn the flames different colors, played myriad games in the stone room and enjoyed music from the organ or record player piped through the house (before wireless speakers were even thought possible!).

And apparently, we also spend a good bit of our time there vacuuming the floral-patterned rugs, dusting the vanities in each room, pulling weeds in the garden and raking leaves.

In addition to the adrenaline-soaked action, I remember some of the more restful activities and none of the cleaning, yet they occupy huge sections of my cousins’ otherwise affectionate memories of "Grandma’s." I am certain these were the same people with whom I grew up there, but I’m stumped by how differently we remember it.

The next time someone asks me why we need four perspectives of Jesus’ life and why they are different, I have a story to tell!

Posted by: Donna Douglass | Wednesday May 6, 2020

Trajectory

“Mom, look! There’s a brown man next to peach-colored man!”

“Shhhh, honey. We can’t see that. People of all colors are equal. We must not see skin color.”

The little girls marveled at the men of different colors, puzzled, but went on skipping and holding Mom’s hand as years passed.

“Look, Mom! Why is that man in a wheel chair?”

“Shhh, honey. We can’t see that. People of all mobility and ability levels are equal. We must not see differing capabilities.”

The little girl watched a runner sprint by the wheel chair, puzzled, but went on skipping and holding Mom’s hand as years passed.

“Look, Mom! Why are those two men  and those two women holding hands?”

“Shhh, honey. We can’t see that. The choices people make are all equal. We must not see their choices.”

The little girl’s heart troubled her as she watch the two couples. Then her eyes rested on a man and woman holding hands and the trouble cloud left. She went on walking and holding Mom’s hand as years passed.

“Mom, why are all the people gray and lifeless? They are all the same. I can’t tell them apart!”

“We must see them all the same. We must ignore all color, ability and choices. They are all the same. Culture says so.”

The girl’s hand flew to her face as all color drained from it, terror filling her little body. “Am I as gray and lifeless as they?”

 

“Look, Dad! I can do it!”

“Yes, you can,” Dad smiles patiently.

“Look, Dad! I can do it better than they can!”

“Yes, you can,” Dad agrees.

“Look, Dad! I’m better than them!”

“Yes, my precious. You sure are,” Dad affirms.

“Look, Dad! I’m the best there is!”

But Dad is gone. The little girl no longer sees him, nor anyone else.

She is all there is, or at least, all that matters. But she can do all. She knows all. She’s got this.

Then a log tumbles her bike…but her arrogance has thrown her beyond the reach of help.

She blends into the gray shadows milling around her. Even desperate for help, she sees no one. And no one sees her.

Empty and meaningless. Where the trajectory of tolerance and arrogance converge.

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