This is the hardest part of the story of Myrtle the Miracle Dog to tell, because I’m not sure I can find the words to explain my Miracle.
Remember my walks at this place? Doesn’t it look the isle in a cathedral? Honestly, during those walks here, there were times I felt like a bride.
Myrtle Cemetery, on the road where my family is buried.
I’ve been pondering how those walks were possibly a form of living prayer. I just showed up the first day, and said, “Okay, God, I’m here. Teach me?”
What I wanted to learn was how to walk with Him just for the pleasure of it, because I’d walked with Him for just about every other reason but that one. And somehow, I knew that reason was the key.
Quite simply, I just kept showing up. I came every chance I got, and I walked with Him, in the person of Jesus, and talked to Him like a friend, about everything.
And that’s when the Miracle began.
I learned to worship in that cemetery. My relationship with Him became intimate. And via a Bible study I was doing in conjunction with my walks, I learned not to run or turn away when He shined light in my dark places, but to remain and let Him have everything. I learned about repentance. It was a key to freedom.
John 8:32 became my life verse:
32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. (ESV)
The truth was about me, and addressing that changed everything.
So, how does Myrtle the Miracle Dog connect? Often, after Myrtle was our adopted pet, I would take her on my walks. But Myrtle was a hassle–a distraction. She dragged me along, always wanting to go beyond the limits of her expandable leash. If I turned her loose, she would not come back when I got ready to go. And even at home, although she had over a half acre of fenced back yard, interesting in shape, with huge trees to wander through, it was never enough. Myrtle dug out at every opportunity.
At age 15, Myrtle still digs.
One of Myrtle’s “death holes”, as my husband calls them. This one is about 2 feet in diameter, and 1 foot deep.
It’s as though Myrtle serves as a mirror, because I am prone to wander, too. And I don’t like my fences, either.
“Prone to wander, Lord I feel it! Prone to leave the God I love. Here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it. Seal it for thy courts above.”
(Come Thy Fount of Every Blessing)
I often think of how we want to bless Myrtle with more outings to more wonderful doggy places than she can currently imagine, such as my husband’s fishing excursions, which would be heaven to her. But we can’t take Myrtle, because she will not obey. In frustration, I think of how our rules are for her good, and for her protection. If she could only know that!
With God and me, the same is true. Why can’t I see that?
At this point in my life, I’ve decided to practice seeing that, and to practice obeying despite my urges to the contrary. It’s hard, and I often fail. But I’m not giving up. I can say with the apostle Paul:
12-14 I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.
Philippians 3:13-14 The Message (MSG)
Already, with my feeble attempts, blessings surprise me. But I often wonder why I’m surprised, especially when I’ve been given a reflector that lopes along beside me, and especially when I understand the beauty that is the Gospel message, as well.
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