It’s Marty time again…!!
When my youngest son was thinking about buying a dog, he did a lot of research. That’s just his way. He doesn’t do much without weighing all the pro’s and con’s – googling information like the “internet ferret” that he is – and then making a decision that comes from his “head” – based on an intelligent evaluation of the facts.
So, he had decided that he was going to get a beagle. (The research had supported this decision). He had even found a “no-kill” animal sanctuary that specialized in beagles. Now, well-thought-out decision made, it was just a matter of timing.
Except once in a while, his heart takes over.
Yup, we wandered into a pet store “just for fun” – and there was Marty.
We had vowed we would “never” get a dog from a pet store. We’d heard too many horror stories about “puppy mills” and disease and a host of other reasons why this would NOT be a good decision…
But…there was Marty.
We petted him…we let him lick us…we took him to the “play area”…we took him for a short walk. (Not a good idea – feelings were starting to bubble up…)
My son and I went outside to “discuss” our options. We finally decided to put a down payment on “Brown-Headed Beagle, Male, 4 months old” – a NON-REFUNDABLE down payment, of course.
And that’s when they let us look at his records…
OH DEAR –
Born in Texas, somehow transported to California when he wasn’t quite two months old. Two days later, in the hospital with parvo (a terrible dog disease that is usually fatal) – on an IV and medicine for 10 days – back to the pet store – where two weeks later, he promptly got an intestinal parasite – more medicine, and into quarantine. When we saw him that day, he had just been returned to his regular cage.
My heart sank…
We didn’t want to buy a sickly dog. I saw $$$ piling up in exorbitant vet fees. My son looked at me, I looked at him – I said, “Well, that down payment gives us 24 hours to decide.”
We went over to see Marty (who wasn’t Marty yet, if you know what I mean - but he was, if you know what I mean!). As soon as we got there, the other puppy in the cage went after him, biting him (NOT puppy “bites” – not “nice” - not "playful") – Marty started yelping – he was getting hurt!
Well, I swept down faster than an avenging eagle rescuing her baby from the jaws of a predator.
Marty was in my arms faster than you can say “boo.” A lady said to me, “Oh, that poor little thing!” I looked at her and said, “Well, it won’t happen anymore. This is our dog!”
And just that quickly, the decision was made.
Marty came home with us.
Unfortunately, he still had some health problems, and we had more doctor visits, and medicine, and $$$. We had 10 days to decide “officially” if we were going to keep him. It was a lot for my son to handle.
So one day I asked him, “What was the FIRST thing you thought to yourself this morning when you got up?”
Without a moment’s hesitation, he said, “Keep him...because I love him.”
The rest is history.
Marty is a healthy, happy, delightful, funny, precious member of our family.
What did this rather inauspicious beginning with Marty teach me about God?
God came to our world. He looked at us, imprisoned in a cage of sin – dirty, sick, infected with unrighteousness – for all intents and purposes,
There wasn’t anything in our records that made us worth “purchasing.”
He could have walked away…
But instead, God listened to His heart, which was moved with compassion and love, and He reached out, and snatched us away from death – He saved us.
God looked past ALL the reasons that we weren’t worth “buying” – He let His heart speak…
…and took us home!
“When we were utterly helpless…God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” (Romans 5:6, 8)
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