Saturday, February 9, 2013

Dogs Bark

     Newly divorced, I'm still lost in these woods. I recognize some of the trees, distinguished by their bark-their coverings that vary in beautiful color and texture. I know the maple and oak well. Firs outline the mountaintops. Fond particulary of Birch, I am taken by their peeling and chipping-seeming to be falling apart-yet made perfect by the Creator.

    I feel like that today. Made and Perfected by Christ, yet my spirit seems touchy and picky-not ready to be shed completely-pieces of me still cling. To me. Sometimes I pick at it like a bad sunburn. Pulling layers off in sheets here and there. Often, I'll prick a piece not quite ready to be removed and be shocked at the sensitivity underneath-the ouch and the pink. I'm so impatient for this to be over.

    But the forest envelops me. The tall, leaning figures cloaked in brown and green reach out to cover me, protect me. I feel strong surrounded by these aged wisemen as I watch their tops sway, caught in the wind. Suddenly, a dog barks. I lurch myself to safety up the trunk as quickly and clumsily as I am able in this older flesh-frame. The barking gets louder. Closer. Truer. Under.

   I dislike mad dogs and there's one beneath my position snarling, growling, showing his menacing grin. Having learned this lesson before-Praise God!-I clambor up two more branches to more than just out of reach. I still see the dog, but can rest assured since canines can't climb. His barking intensifies as he realizes his teeth aren't going to taste my flesh today. The arms of this Tree hold me. This sanctuary protects me. And I realize this is the safest place to fall apart, to shed my bark.

   Some time passes and the dog tires himself out with his foolish game. It's not really me he wants. He isn't finding what he needs to seek out. He's just an animal until he's willing for his Master to reign him in and love him and train him.  I know this. I used to bark too.

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