For a few very hard years this word was my mantra.
The word means
-undismayed; not discouraged; not forced to abandon purpose or effort
-undiminished in courage or valor; not giving way to fear
But the truth is, I was often dismayed by everything that had taken place, and I did battle discouragement. I battled fear and doubts. I hurt and was angry, and sometimes "undaunted" sounded more like a mockery than a mantra, and I was determined to be real about all of it in these posts, thus the name, Undaunted Reality. More than that, though, I was determined to live undaunted, not because I'm so great or strong, but because my God is, and no matter what this world looks like, He is the only reality that matters.
I pray I live the reality of Him beautifully undaunted.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Peace of Mercy

I pulled out of my driveway at 7:15 this morning to make the nearly two hour drive to my vet's clinic. My dog spent a second night there last night. SuperWonderFred is sick, sick enough to die.

My Favorite Big Dog is having liver problems, and he's too sick for a biopsy which would give a more definitive diagnosis, so Dr. Margaret is trying to get the symptoms under control so she can get to the problem. The ultimate problem is not matter what she does, he may die.

I've cried a lot over that dog the last two days. I toss and turn at night because he's not lying on the floor beside my bed, his snoring soothing me to sleep. I walk in the door, and he's not there to meet me with a tail wag and a shove of his muzzle into my hand. His deep throaty bark doesn't fill the backyard. It's different, and it's not a good different. It's a hard different, and yet, it's a peaceful different.

 I've spent a lot of time praying over Fred, not just in the last few days but over the last few years. Fred has hip problems. He has had them since he was a year old. Some days it is hard for my big dog to pull himself up off the floor, and there are days when it is impossible for him to get on the large ottoman that gives his stiff joints a reprieve from the cold cement floor. Several months ago, Dr. Larry tried some meds to help with the pain. Thankfully, I didn't get the prescription refilled yet because, you guessed it, those meds are hard on the liver. Even before that, I worried, though, what happened when the meds didn't really help anymore or the joints just got too stiff? How would I know when the pain of being Fred was too great, and how would I know exactly what to do? How would I know the merciful thing?

In the last four years I've learned a lot about mercy. I've learned mercy does not give us what we deserve. I've also learned mercy delivers us from how bad it could be. Mercy isn't always the answer we want, but it is always the answer we need.

Mercy knows what is coming and delivers a person--or a Fred--before the worst hits. Mercy is big picture kindness.

On the way to the clinic this morning, I expected the phone to ring and Dr. Margaret to be on the other line to break the news that Fred had died in the night. He really was that sick yesterday. Even if the phone call didn't come, I knew today could be a day of hard decisions that really weren't decisions at all  but acknowledgment of the undeniable. I took the blanket Fred and I lie on when his joints hurt too much to move much, and I tried to prepare myself to lie down with my Big Dog one more time and simply let him go to sleep. This morning wasn't that morning, but we are far from being out of the woods, and eventually that time will come. Without an act of God, liver disease will kill My Favorite Big Dog.

So I pray for an act of God. The act of mercy.

I ask for God to do what is best because there are no good solutions, not any any of us want anyway. We want the pain free, fear free, death free, and there is no such thing on this earth, and we hate the truth, but the truth is this: there is always a best solution. We don't have to like it. Sometimes it rips our hearts out, but it is still the best solution.

The only solution that can make anything any better is love poured out in mercy.

So I pray for mercy knowing it may mean I will never hear SuperWonderFred snore by my bed, I may never walk into my house and feel his muzzle in my hand, his throaty bark may never fill my backyard again. I pray for mercy knowing this morning was good, and tomorrow I may get a call he's gone.

As I write that my eyes burn with tears, and my chest tightens because this is the companion who has let tears fall on his fur, laid with his head in my lap while I mindlessly rubbed my hand down his side and stared blankly into the world of can't-believe-how-much-has-gone-wrong, and moved from room to room just to be near me. He is love in a furry package with big brown eyes and a tail that can clear a coffee table in one motion. He's my Fred, and I can't imagine the silence of his not being here.

And even as the tears fall, the peace holds.

The peace that the Almighty God who gave me the gift of Fred knows how to give the gift of mercy to Fred.

I don't know what that mercy looks like. All I know is I've seen enough of God's mercy to know it may not be the answer I like, but it is the answer that is good. And in that goodness, my heart finds peace.

1 comment:

  1. What a heart rending post, Jerri. And I can testify with you that God's mercy is always good. And that goodness help us through the pain of loss and the lessons we must learn there.