Archive for June 9, 2010

He looked me in the eyes.  I looked back. He licked his lips as he stepped closer.  I moved to the other side of the couch, and turned away.  When I turned back, he had disappeared. Then…

As quickly as I could turn around, IT was gone. My perfectly grilled piece of chicken had vanished…and so had he…our dog Shiloh.

A perfectly grilled piece of chicken is one of the things I look forward to in the summer.  I love to grill and I love chicken.  I have learned the art of marinating; using just the right amount of heat; timing the turning of the chicken at just the right time. And when it is done…the flavor is magnificent and the meat is tender. Unfortunately, Shiloh our dog also appreciates my grilling skills!

Like a tasty piece of grilled chicken, most things worth having in life require an investment of time, practice and dedication. And nothing hurts more than when you have invested yourself into something worthwhile, only to have it stolen, lost, or destroyed.  A piece of chicken can easily be replaced; but what about the things that really matter, like…relationships?

There may be no greater pain than investing your emotions, heart, soul, energy and all that you are into a relationship only to have it end. We have all felt that sting.  It can cause our hearts to be guarded and full of suspicion.  It can make us leery of any and all relationships. It can cause us to hold up bitterness and unforgiveness as heroic symbols of our pain and loss. It can keep us from trusting anyone ever again.

In the moment of greatest loss, pain, self-denial and suffering, Jesus cried out, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” His closest followers had betrayed and abandoned Him. He was alone on the cross, giving all He had for all mankind, including the very ones who betrayed Him, left Him, and falsely accused Him.

His words in that moment could have been a diatribe of insults and accusations towards all who had put Him there. But instead, he once again did what few of us could do.  He looked past the pain of the moment and into the power and hope of the future.  His life was being given for us to have life; but even while he was giving His life away, he did not hold anything against those who brought Him his present pain.  Instead, he chose to love.

What an example.

May the pain of relationships lost cause us to be more like Jesus instead of being trophies of suffering that we keep as reminders to keep others at a distance.  God, help us to forgive and try again.

One last thing…if anyone has seen my dog Shiloh, please send him home, because that’s my piece of chicken he’s holding in his mouth. Father, forgive Him!