We spotted him about half of a mile away. From where we sat he was handsome, very handsome.
My sister gave him a “come on over” whistle.
We thought we were alone in the rock quarry and sought out the spot to get away. This wasn’t our first time there. It was our little hideaway that no one knew about.
So where did he come from?
Obviously he was taken. Something that beautiful doesn’t get passed up too often. But my sister is relentless when she wants something so she whistled again.
This time he looked our way and we both giggled like school girls.
It was hot outside and we wanted to offer him a drink.
He knew we were the only other ones in the quarry and he either thought we looked nice or he was desperate. He started to make his way towards us.
Then we saw it.
As he got closer to us we noticed that he could barely put his little paw down and his tongue was hanging out in a pant. Exhaustion was on his face and he looked like he wanted to give up.
When he finally reached us we stroked his beautiful red fur and tried to figure out why he couldn’t put weight on the paw. We named him Frito and I have no idea why.
We lifted his paw and saw that he had a thorn in it. Oddly he trusted us enough to play nurse and pull it out. All three of us were instant best friends. Frito loved us.
There were a few hours of complete bliss as we played with him, he was happy.
One of us had the bright idea of taking Frito home with us (probably my sister, her ideas aren’t always well thought out) so we lured Frito close to my truck and tried to convince him to jump in.
He walked right off, turned his head and gave us a grin as if to say “Thanks for pulling the thorn but you’re useless to me now, goodbye”.
Talk about feeling used and dirty. Our feelings were hurt and we felt betrayed. Why would he come to us in his time of need and then when wanted to truly love him and care for him he turned his back on us. Ouch!
I wonder how many thorns God has pulled from my paw and how many times I have walked away from Him, leaving Him feeling used by me.
I lived a life as far away from Him as I could. I figured at a distance He would be far enough away to not see my flaws. Every time that I got close I realized that He could see that I was a mangled mess. It made me nervous.
But I needed Him.
I needed Him to pull the thorn from my paw so that I could put my feet on the floor and walk away.
I used Him.
I cried out for Him in my times of trouble but barely whispered His name when I felt strong.
I knew that He was the only One that could save me from the many sins that flowed easily throughout my life but I wasn’t ready to commit to Him. I wasn’t ready to follow Him. So I came to Him in my time of need and ignored Him when I felt like I had control. I walked away each time, comfortable with the risk of getting another thorn.
I was a fool.
The last thorn that He pulled from me was my father’s suicide. It was deep and hurt worse than any of the ones before. I didn’t just need Him to pull the thorn, I need Him to heal the wound, to carry me, to comfort me and to show me how to finally surrender to Him. So I picked up my cross and promised my heavenly Father that my life would now and always be about following His son. My heavenly Father promised me that I would face the hurts again in my life but He would be there to carry me through each and every time.
I will never walk away again, even if my feet are healed and touching the floor I will forever be cemented in His foundation.
Are you limping?
Let the Almighty Healer pull the thorn, heal you and carry you. Let him live through you.
Loving Father thank you for pulling the thorn time and time again and never losing patience with us when we walk away. Help us to pick up our cross and become true followers of Christ. Show us how to love the unlovable, father the fatherless and feed the poor. Train us to be your hands and feet. Teach us how to live a life that reflects your son in such a way that when people look at us they can only see his face. Cure our limp. In Jesus name, amen.
Honestly I think Frito was probably a pretty smart dog for not going with me and my sister. He was probably safer fending for himself in the abandon quarry.