UNUSUAL DAY. I didn’t write a word until now, 7:30 in the evening. And I didn’t get around to vacuuming. This will be fast because I haven’t eaten supper, either.
I discovered last night that one of the things we neglected to do on the new Casual English Bible website was to post sample pages of the Bible book atlases and leaders guides. We were offering them for sale as PDF downloads, but we weren’t showing the products. So, nobody was getting any.
I spent all day working on posting them, so folks studying the Gospel of Matthew, for example, could see all the maps we have available for Matthew.
I hate having to do that stuff instead of writing. Normally, I’ll write at least all morning, and then do those side jobs in the afternoon. But I felt this was fairly urgent. So, that was my day.
In the middle of the day, I silently swore at my two younger brothers for leaving the world ahead of me.
Cliff died of COVID. Darb of a heart attack. Both six months apart a couple years ago, now.
But those waves of sadness and anger wash over me like that from time to time.
And there’s Buddy the Dog. He’s got a limp that will last until he leaves. He’s in the cool of the basement Man Cave, listening to classical music. I couldn’t talk him into standing, even with the words, “Mommy’s home.” That usually works. So, I brought his food down to him. Then his water. He’s at the age where black labs tend to leave.
I stroked his fur and cried just a little. No falling tears. Just wet eyes. You shouldn’t mix a hurting dog with soft classical music.
Mom called after that. She’s in frail condition, too. But we talked about 20 minutes.
I told her I swore at my brothers.
She said, “Don’t you find it good that you know where they are? And don’t you wonder what they’re doing?”
I said, “No, not really. I’m here. And I’m missing them.”
I can’t imagine what heaven is like. But I know what earth is like in the absence good people I’ve loved.
There are so many idiots living long lives and stirring up trouble.
Do you ever wonder if God is turning earth into hell?
It’s a fleeting thought. I know better. Still, there are so many crappy people left here, and so many good people taken early.
I wonder why.
But check your Bible, God doesn’t usually answer “why” questions.
Vacuuming will wait
Walking up to the office I could see we’re in need of a good vacuuming. But it has been too long since I’ve let you know that I’m still here. Still working my way through Isaiah.
I have no idea what that guy was eating before he went to bed at night, but he had the weirdest dreams. And he seemed to wake up angry a lot.
I’d wonder more about the accuracy of how well we have preserved these prophecies if it weren’t for the ancient Isaiah scroll that was found among the Dead Sea Scrolls. It was likely copied more than a century before Jesus was born.
That’s my day
Well now you know I’m still breathing, working, grieving, wondering, and sometimes doubting.
But I’m still hoping, believing, and laughing.
I hope you are, too. And I hope I didn’t bum you out too much. Some days are diamonds. Some days stink up the joint.
But the wind blows in a new day.
I think that’s what happened at Pentecost.
The people were all bummed and grieving. Then they weren’t.
It’s in Acts 2.
And the fact that Acts 2 just popped into my head produced a “Thank you, Lord.” Out loud.
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I’m right there with you, Steve. Life definitely tends toward the bittersweet — but sometimes the bitter definitely overwhelms the sweet. I’m not sure which is worse: A life cut short by tragedy or living long and watching everyone you love go before you do.
I know I’m a bit of a coward, but I’ll never own another dog. I just can’t watch another life begin and end so quickly.
God bless and take care, my friend.
Stephen M. Miller
Yeah, the dog dilemma is right there in the living room, looking out the front door.
It’s odd, the partnership of love and pain. I’m wondering if there is ever a time on earth when we can have any sustained relationship involving love that doesn’t also involve pain.
I was there in the vet ER when the doc injected the killer meds into my son’s beautiful Siberian Husky. I’ve never hurt for any human more than I did for that dog and for my son. It’s still wrenching to think about. My son said I was the last person the dog, Juneau, ever licked before becoming too weak. And what she licked were the tears rolling down my face as I knelt down beside her.
I didn’t ask God to make a place in heaven for that dog. I ordered him to do it. I did not give him any other option.
So, as you come across stories of people seeing visions of heaven, you might keep your eyes open for a Siberian Husky.