The Gift of Brokenness

I am not a dog person. I never wanted a dog at home. Although we now have the most precious little pup the first two statements still ring true for me.

It took 6 years of canvassing for me to capitulate and give in to having  a dog at home.  I always knew that it wouldn’t be just any dog, but a special one that would find a home with us.  We went through adopt-a-puppy agencies earlier this year and somehow things never quite fell into place for us and we gave up looking until a week ago when a friend told us of a pup that needed a home.  He was a handsome, 9 week old Golden Retriever pup who needed a home.  And not just any home, but one that was willing to love him and raise him for as long as he lived.  See, this pup was born with a grade 3 heart murmur. and as grade 3 heart murmurs go, they either diminish and the dog thrives or they get worse and the dog succumbs.

It was a tough decision to make.  We wrestled with the imagined heartache of losing a loved pet but we finally said yes.  It just seemed right.  He seemed like this unbearably precious gift, given to us to love for as long as he needed.  We couldn’t say no. We named him Theo – meaning God-given in Greek and brought him home a week ago.  He’s stolen our hearts and fit right in.  I now understand what makes a person a dog person.  It’s those eyes that look at you like you’re the only thing that matters to them in this world. It is love unbounded and unabashed.

Amidst the rose colored glasses we now wear, the truth of his situation slid home at the vet’s this evening.  She was concerned.  She felt that his symptoms were not as mild as she hoped.  As diagnoses go, they can be varied.  But as I sat on the floor in my living room tonight watching Theo sleep in his crate I felt as if my heart was shattering into a million pieces.  The love I feel for him seems so unbearable in light of his broken heart.

But then I thought that the most precious things are born out of brokenness and pain.  There is no other way to be in this world.  The birth of a baby, the gift of falling in love, letting your children grow and go, losing an amazing boss, the beauty of friendships forged by fire – each of these circumstances are painful and yet make way for the most precious gifts of life, love, freedom, growth and deep, lasting relationships.

I will love Theo for as long as he lives with all of my heart. I will make memories and make each moment count.  I will hope with all of my heart that he has many years with us.

It makes sense to me to love the people in my life the same way. For whatever time I have with them, I will treat them as precious and make every moment count.

The gift of brokenness seems unbearably precious tonight.  I am reminded that God loves us broken people.  His unfailing love was made manifest in the broken body of a broken God on Calvary. Nothing beats His gift of brokenness.

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