This is a post I would never choose to write.
I don't enjoy my own pain…
But when something goes wrong with Marty, my granddog, well…
Let me tell you the story.
A couple of weeks ago, my sons and Marty came to visit me in my new mountain home for a few days. We were having a great time. Until Tuesday morning, when I was greeted with the chilling words…
"Mom, I think something's wrong with Marty's tail."
Adrenaline rush…a glance at Marty…and yes, it was obvious, something was indeed wrong.
This ordinarily exuberant, joyful, energetic fluff of fur was decidedly not himself. And that other personality who shares his little body – his tail – was dead.
It hung like a limp rag, between his legs, no movement AT ALL.
I tried testing him, just to see if I could get any reaction out of him.
I tried playing with him, I suggested a walk – I even resorted to tempting him with delicious human food.
I thought of all the disastrous things that could be wrong. Something with his spine, something with his legs or hips, something with his brain.
And mixed in with my panic was a huge dose of sad…
You cannot imagine how pathetic it is to see a dead beagle tail.
The boys and Marty had to leave to go home. I was left with fear…
I thought about googling. Googling about medical stuff is a mixed bag – depending on what you find out. I have googled physical symptoms about myself. Sometimes it's reassuring – often it's not. Let me tell you, a person who has battled with hypochondria in the past, and who is always one fearful symptom away from falling back into that pit of panic…SHOULD. NOT. GOOGLE.
Occasionally I am able to immediately eliminate some dire conditions. No, I'm pretty sure I don't have an enlarged prostate. I am definitely not pregnant. It's rather impossible for me to have malaria or bubonic plague.
You get the idea.
But, like a frantic first-year medical student unleashed in a medical dictionary, I can often convince myself that I have a host of other diseases.
But I digress.
I finally decided to google Marty's symptoms.
I typed in one of the saddest sentences I have ever written in my life.
"My dog's tail doesn't work."
To my utter surprise, there were multiple articles on the subject. Upon reading several, I became convinced that Marty had developed a condition called limber tail, or cold tail, or swimmer's tail.
Also known by another name…
Broken Wag Syndrome.
I know – is that just too sad or what?!
It is a condition that happens to certain breeds in particular, and beagles were consistently listed as one of those breeds.
Basically, though the cause is not completely known, it is suspected to be a condition in which the muscles and nerves servicing the tail are injured. It's kinda like a tail sprain/strain.
We took Marty to the vet to verify our self-diagnosis – and yes, he had a broken wag.
My sister has a Rottweiler, and she has named her dog's tail "Boo." I started calling Marty's tail – Mr. Boo.
Mr. Boo was broken…
I mourned Mr. Boo.
But eventually, slowly but surely, Mr. Boo began to recover. I called my son every few hours for an update. I smiled when he told me that Mr. Boo had *swayed* a few times. I celebrated when a couple *wags* occurred.
A few days later, when I had to travel down the mountain, I was very nervous to see Marty in person. What would Mr. Boo be like?
You cannot imagine my delight when I was greeted at the door by one very exuberant, joyful, energetic beagle – with an almost fully operational wag.
Mr. Boo was coming back.
I realized then how much I had missed Marty's ability to communicate his emotions, his needs – his heart – with that independent little tail of his. I had missed Marty's joy.
Have you ever felt like you had a "broken wag"?
I sure have.
Times when I just can't muster good feelings. Times when I just can't smile. Times when my joy is dead. When my heart is sprained, when my faith is strained.
Where to turn?
To the only One who can heal me.
You know, thinking about Marty, I pondered the day that Jesus died. The world thought that He was gone forever.
I believe that the devil thought so, too.
He saw Jesus take His last breath on the cross – and with a demonically smug smirk of satisfaction on his face, he muttered – "Ha. The wag of my enemy is broken."
The body of Jesus hung there limply, no movement, no breath.
But, the story was not yet fully written. And in a resounding miracle that arced across the span of human history like a lightning bolt, Jesus rose from the dead!
And because of the resurrection, Jesus is the perfect One, the only One who can heal my brokenness.
"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed." (Psalm 34:18)
"He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds." (Psalm 147:3)
"The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is upon me, for the LORD has anointed me to bring good news…He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed."
Have you ever had a "broken wag"? How did Jesus heal it?
BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"