In one of my conversation with mom this morning, she told me I was wrong. What this time? In all honesty, I know I am not immune to making mistakes so the fact I was apparently in the wrong again wasn’t an issue. It was what I was mistaken in, that has some ramifications. The neighbor’s child, wasn’t saying Miya as I thought. Their dog’s name isn’t Miya, its Patches. Patches is and has been, home safe and sound. The boy was actually calling another neighbor boy whose name sounds very similar to Miya, especially with a child’s southern drawl added. It does also explain why no one was out searching for the not missing dog.
Considering what I wrote last night, about calling though, it actually has me wondering if the fact he was calling for a person, is not even more fitting than his calling a dog. Dogs, especially family pets usually respond much more readily than people. I say that even with the understanding that doesn’t mean all dogs. We had a dog that would escape and then play games like, catch me if you can. Even coming very close to dance away in a weird doggy cha cha. Even the usual bribe didn’t always work.
People though, are different. People can be stubborn. People, scream about free will and seek their own ways. Which, is all part and parcel of being human. But, are our ways, always the best ways?
Example for consideration, me. Because as I have said, I gave myself permission to share.
I lead a somewhat sheltered and over protected childhood. We lived out here in the country away from all those bad influences of even small town life. Because even Mayberry had problems. Because of that and many other factors, I never felt as if I fit in and could never find the right balance between me and society. The oddball peg that didn’t fit in any of the holes, round, square, octagonal or what ever. Having been raised in a loving family, quiet environment, in a Bible believing, teaching church, I knew pretty much the right direction to take. But I diverged from that path onto one that took me far from what I was accustomed.
Free will right? I could take the path I chose and close my ears to the voices calling me back. Walking deeper into the darkness until the voices faded into the background. Walking ever deeper into a living nightmare. Each turn adding to the mistakes. Each valley shadowed with things I had never known before. Giving in to some forbidden fruits but not going further. Teaching and upbringing holding me back.
After the horror began to mount, the darkness grow and an experience I wouldn’t wish on anyone, I made the first turn back from this path I was on. Escaping from the dark, headed back to the light. When one has journeyed an excessive distance, it takes a while to make the full return. Even as my mind and body healed, something held me back from the full restoration. Shame? Possibly. But like the Prodigal in the parable, the moment came when I knew my mistakes and reached out. Over the course of the last year especially I’ve grown, asked for and accepted forgiveness and planted both feet firmly on solid ground of faith and trust.
But that’s me. That the me who knew better and yet did it anyway. that’s the me, who even though I felt that I had gone so far there was no return, there was. The me, who had traveled to a point that I thought the voice could no longer be heard, did hear the calling.
What of those, who were brought up differently? What of those whose life was not sheltered and filled with love and lessons of right from wrong? What of those, who do not believe or accept? He still calls, offering an invitation with open arms. Asking those of us who have heard and answered, to share what we know. Yes, there are those who do it incorrectly, but there are more who get it right. Love, forgiveness, compassion, charity, salvation, all and more offered.
Does it matter, that I heard wrong? In my heart, I felt bad for a child who I thought had lost a beloved pet. I didn’t feel bad enough to go ask. If I had I would have known. Instead, I chose to stay on my side of the road. I chose to ‘mind my own business’. I chose to not, out of free will.
Does it matter, if we don’t speak up? Does it matter, if we don’t reach out in the ways we are gifted, to help others hear the calling? A beloved pet is important, are human lives not much more so? Should we not at least offer the option of hearing, and allow those we offer, make the choice?