Just finished treating and steam cleaning our not-so-old, yet well-worn living room carpet due to yet another Carly accident. Our steamer has worked overtime in the last 12 months not because our beloved mutt has suddenly become disobedient or obstinate, but because she’s old. Like, 18 years old, according to the Humane Society’s records. She could use some doggie Depends.
My husband, Randy, gets angry at the dog and often threatens to call the taxidermist when she leaves her mark in the house (though I know he loves her as much as I do and would never do that) but unlike him, I don’t have it in me to get angry with her. It’s not because I can read her mind and know how sorry she is, or that I can see the remorse in her big, round, brown, puppy dog eyes, but because it’s out of character for her. She didn’t do it before. She went YEARS without messing in the house, so I know when it occurs it’s because she just really can’t help it.
As I was going over the same soiled spot again, and again, and again – soaking the carpet more than was warranted or manufacturer recommended - I was reminded of a recent encounter. It started a few weeks ago with a person who I eluded to HERE. This person, who I’ll just go ahead and admit is a co-worker of sorts, had me seeing double with irritation. I won’t divulge details, but I felt her perception of a situation was completely skewed causing her to overreact and lash out. A civil conversation was out of the question.
If you read the linked post in the previous paragraph, you know how the Holy Spirit (I believe) clearly illustrated to me I should let it go. To not let my mind camp out on the hurtful conversation and text messages or allow the accusations to fester. No, I was to drop it. So I did, but like a boomerang, the unwelcomed accusations returned weeks later - different scenario, same vitriol.
Initially, I didn’t defend myself. I avoided the “you’re wrong, I’m right” road because it became apparent rather quickly that my attempts to shed light on the matter were futile. Part of me wanted to be upset, especially since she dragged management into it, but in the end, I couldn’t. I eventually stood my ground, but I couldn’t muster up the helping of hatred that my younger self would have gladly stockpiled and flung her way. Why? Because just like with Carly, I came to believe this person couldn’t help it.
Now, before you scream how wrong I am, I agree that adults should and can control their temper and the words they use. We should all be professional and look for opportunities to foster peace, not discord. But I also believe that another person’s emotional wounds can be so deep, that it clouds their vision to the point that their reality is misguided. I’m not trying to make an excuse for another, but I believe when someone hurts us we don’t have to cave into that initial temptation to retaliate. Instead, we can consider that maybe we don’t understand where another person is coming from and extend grace. I can attest that it’s far easier to do that when we pray for them, like I did today. It really is difficult to harbor anger when you’re thanking God for the person that has wronged you.
There’s also something about a cancer diagnosis, which is probably true of other chronic disease diagnoses as well, that when you receive it, you strive harder to live out your days well. You realize time is too precious to waste on petty arguments…there are far better and productive ways to spend your minutes. Not to mention, I don’t want to stand before my Creator at some point with the need to explain why I engaged in conversations that weren’t edifying, but tore apart his beloved creation who the Bible says He made in His image and likeness. Yes, we can disagree, but it doesn’t have to get ugly.
"Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness, to rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, and over all the earth itself and every creature that crawls upon it.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them." ~ Genesis 1:26-27
So, if we’re willing to be understanding of our pets whom we adore when they repeatedly make mistakes, how much more willing should we be to try and understand those that God loves and whose sins He forgives as far as the East is from the West?
I want to be willing.
Oops, gotta run. Carly’s scratching at the door to go outside.
She truly is a good girl.
Funny that the title "Author" appears above this description yet I have no idea what to share about myself in this space! How about my first name is Kim. My last name is Tisor. Tisor rhymes with miser, though I try not to be one.
For more information about me, please visit the author page.