5th October 2013

You Poor Old Thing, You

“…and his heart went out to them”
Mark 6:34 (New English Bible)

I feel sorry for terribly ugly dogs, one of which really caught my eye. It had a squashed in nose and huge bulging eyes as if it had been chasing a rabbit and run into a tree. It was also wider than it was tall, so it looked like a small oil tank with matchstick legs at each corner.

It was so unbalanced that when it lifted a leg it fell over. “You poor old thing, you,” I thought, but the dog didn’t seem to mind in the least. It staggered up and tried again. I watched in fascination as it teetered between falling over again and finishing off, and my heart went out to that little dog. Every day it had to go through this embarrassing routine stuck in that ridiculous body.

But it made me think of how God must look at me. I’m stuck in a ridiculous body too, shaped and formed by years of cultural conditioning into a mess of phobias, fears, worries and unfortunate personality traits. I teeter every day on that knife-edge between functioning normally and being overwhelmed by an embarrassing inner weakness. I’m like that dog. It didn’t choose to be an oil tank on spindly legs, it simply ended up that way because of the silly notions of dog breeders and the poor habits of its owner. And I am who I am because of the silly notions of all those who’ve influenced me, and my own poor habits.

But when Jesus was here and saw people like me “his heart was touched with pity” (same verse above in Phillips). “You poor old things, you,” he thought to himself, put in our terms today.

And that drew my attention to the owner of the dog. He clearly loved that immensely ugly creature snuffling along beside him, and he wasn’t embarrassed by it either. He didn’t hide behind a bush when his dog fell over relieving itself. Instead, he waited patiently while it got up, angled its three legs into position again and up went the fourth, and you could almost feel the owner’s tension as he willed his little dog to succeed.

The dog felt no embarrassment either. With obvious satisfaction it fell back on to all four legs and off it waddled into another day feeling utterly free, and so can we, because we too have an owner who loves us and wills us poor old things to succeed as well.

What can we say, Father, when we know what we’re like but realise you love us anyway?

Study by Jonathan Buck


jonathanbuckAbout the Author:
Jonathan Buck is an Elder and pastors five Grace Communion International congregations in Canada.  Jonathan is a feature editor of Northern Lights Magazine and you can visit his website at www.bucktobasics.ca  He and his wife, Berry, also pastored in the UK before moving to Canada a number of years ago.  When they are visiting family in England they attend Grace Communion in Lewes.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion – Lewes
The Priory School
Mountfield Road

Meeting time:
Saturday 11:00am

Local Congregational Contact:
Hilary Buck
Email:  hilarybucksbox@mypostoffice.co.uk

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One Response to “5th October 2013”

  1. Ian Woodley on October 5th, 2013 9:44 am

    This started off my day with a chuckle! And yet I learned something too! Great Day By Day.
    Kind Regards

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