“I wish I were blind,” she says twirling around in the living room. H and I look at each other dumfounded. Wondered why our first born, this wispy haired six year old, would say such a thing. So we asked her. Why?
She responds in grave seriousness, “Because then you would have to get me a dog.”
That’s when I knew that this wanting a dog was more than just a whim. Her soul ached for a companion. And I had to be willing to risk again. Because when our first dog passed away suddenly after eight years, it took several days before I could go out in public without sunglasses to hide my red eyes and swollen face. I vowed then that I wouldn’t have another pet. Because I couldn’t bare getting attached again.
Until she said she wanted to be blind and then the hard shell cracked off and I gave in. Because sometimes when we look at others through the lens of our own wounds it distorts our view. Risking to live outside ourselves brings healing to us and freedom to others.
So the kids got a Golden Retriever on Valentines Day, just before Murielle’s “golden” birthday when she turned seven. We named him Winston, the honored guest at a birthday party for giggling second grade girls.
Unexpectedly, we moved from Phoenix to North Carolina six months later. Uprooted the kids from their house, church, extended family and all they had known as familiar. And when they grew homesick adjusting to all the newness, they found comfort on the floor next to Winston after a hard day at their new school.
Now nine years later, I often step over Murielle and the dog as I walk through the living room. She lays prostrate asleep on the floor with her hand on his stomach after a stressful day at school.
Yesterday, a veterinarian sat on a stool opposite me in a chair with Winston’s boxy head buried in my lap. She remarked what a great dog he is, how happy he seems to be. A compliment we hear often.
Then she proceeded to explain that he needed to have his eye removed. And it was like telling me that one of my children went blind in one eye. The eye that shows curiosity, understanding, sadness and joy would no longer be there.
And maybe when Murielle said she wanted to be blind twirling around in the living room that day, she spoke something the mind didn’t understand but the Spirit knew. That we would have to face blindness in something we loved. That it would be hard and sad but we would be thankful.
Thankful for the way He brings joy when we risk, say yes to love. Because perfect love casts out fear. ~I John 4:18
We appreciate your prayers for Winston (and the kids) as he has surgery in a few days.