Thursday, July 26, 2012

Open and Wide!

It's thundering outside. Our golden retriever is trembling. His thunder-phobia is raging within him and he is looking for a place to hide. On one of his first nights in our home we had a huge thunderstorm in the middle of the night. It was the kind of storm that rattles your house and shakes you right out of bed! In his panic, we found Comet in the midst of it all trying to wedge his 80lb body under our bed.

No matter how we tried, we could not do a single thing to comfort him. He was a pitiful sight! Petting him, laying on the floor next to him, talking to him, bribing him...nothing could really change this behavior. Out of desperation we bought him a Thundershirt. It's a jacket for a dog that wraps tightly around his body and is akin to swaddling a baby. While it helped some, it wasn't the panacea we had hoped for.

It would have been wonderful to have him by our sides as we sat and watched the storm roll through. We admired the fury of the wind and the brillance of the lightning. The rain poured out of the clouds in an amazing quantity. It would have been wonderful to fall asleep listening to the sound of the rain with him by my side. But Comet was hiding. Living these moments of his life in a very small way.

"I can't tell you how much I long for you to enter this wide-open, spacious life. We didn't fence you in. The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren't small, but you're living them in a small way. I'm speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively!" (II Cor 6:11-13)

Comet's "small living" during storms came from within him. Although Comet joined our family very late in his life, we think he has probably lived his entire life this way. How sad!

As I write the I find myself thinking about "small living" within me. Am I living in a "small way"? What choices do I make that are the symptoms of small living? Regrettably there are times I choose small living instead of opening up my life. It seems easier to bury in my sorrow and choose isolation than to live as Paul describes in his letter to the Corinthians, "openly and expansively".

What if we were open to new possibilities? What if we were open to new ways of looking at things? What if we were to consider opening up?

How wide and expansive could our lives really be?

grace and peace...

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