"Mom…um, everything's OK, but..."
I hate phone conversations that begin like that. They rarely bring good news.
Oh no. Instant shot of taser-like adrenaline – like sticking my finger in an electrical outlet (has anyone ever done that, by the way?)
Thus began a lovely little odyssey a few weeks back around 9:00 PM on an otherwise unremarkable Tuesday night.
It seems that in the weekly ritual of taking out the trash (which often means gathering up a day or two of rubbish taking up residence around the house) – something fell to the ground and Marty got it.
My sons said it sounded "metallic" – and when they lunged to retrieve it from the mouth of Jonah's whale – Marty swallowed *IT* faster than you can say, "I'm a beagle!"
"What should we do? We think it could have been a bottle cap…"
I like to err on the side of caution – especially when it comes to my beloved granddog.
"You better take him to the emergency vet."
So, Son #1 and Son#2 and Dog #3 headed off. (I would have gone, but they live ½ hour away – and "The Hub" thinks I already *hover* too much…but I digress)
Alone, I waited, I prayed, I worried – I prayed some more.
About 10:20 PM I finally heard from them.
Good news – the X-ray didn't show anything. Bad news – plastic bottle caps don't show up on X-rays…neither does any sort of chemical that could have been on what Marty swallowed. Worst news – just to "be on the safe side" – they made him…ahem…regurgitate.
"How's he doing?" I asked breathlessly.
"He's fine. They gave him a shot of something to calm his stomach. He's just acting sleepy and worn out."
I slept terrible that night – assaulted by all sorts of fun nightmares – all with horribly dire outcomes.
The next morning I called to check in on my favorite beagle. He was absolutely fine – good as new.
What has Marty taught me about God this time?
Well, it's this. Sometimes we get ourselves into all kinds of trouble by ingesting things we shouldn't. Some things are dangerous, some are poison.
Case in point, I used to buy the National Enquirer on a semi-regular basis – I know, guilty pleasure – but then I felt convicted by it. (Want the true, true confession, though – I still buy it – ONLY every now and then – usually the ones with the cellulite bodies on the cover. Who is that actress who looks like a normal woman?? Enquiring minds want to know...)
I used to sneak in a little horoscope reading. No harm, right? I wasn't living by the stars, after all. Just a little fun indulgence. But then, I felt convicted by it. The Bible speaks expressly against such practices. (I don't read anything having to do with astrology anymore – I'm still tempted, but I stubbornly refuse – I'm a Taurus, after all…sorry, couldn't resist)
These two things aren't all that bad – but there are worse things out there. Sinful, ugly things that we can read and watch and look at – things that we can eat and drink – things we can think and feel and do – things we can buy…
There are a million ways that the enemy can get us to ingest something that has no business being in our lives. And we do…
Now some of these sins are hidden – they don't show up in X-rays – people looking at us from the outside can't see them. But, not every dangerous thing shows up on the outside persona we show to the world.
Some poison is in the heart.
What to do? The only thing we can do – to "be on the safe side."
We have to go the emergency room – to our knees in prayer – and let the Lord take care of us. We need to have Him help us…ahem…regurgitate.
Only by ridding ourselves of potentially harmful things can we be saved from terrible consequences. Now, the process isn't fun – confession, repentance, and discipline from the Lord can leave us feeling a little worn out.
But, before we know it, we'll be absolutely fine – good as new.
Stay away from trash – it'll just get you into trouble!
"And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise." (Philippians 4:8)
BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"