Sunday, April 18, 2010

Puppy teeth. You might as well take a razor to your skin, they’re so sharp. Max’s teeth, my miniature dachshund, are no exception.

Of all the toys in Max’s box, the one he likes best is a purple fuzzy monkey with a squeaky inside. He’ll play with it for hours, usually during our favorite T.V. show. Normally, that doesn’t bother me, but the season was winding down, and we were about halfway into the final episode. Annoyed, I grabbed the monkey and tossed across the room. Max brought it back and resumed squeaking. I threw it again. He brought back again. Finally, I took it and hid it under my leg. Being the wonder dog he is, Max wasn’t fooled, and promptly started digging and snapping at the couch trying to get it. Unfortunately, my hand was still there, and his sharp puppy teeth caught my finger instead. Ouch!

With blood dripping down my arm, I rushed to the sink, scolding him all the way. Closer examination revealed a pretty deep scratch that would probably take quite a few days to heal. Without intending to, Max had really hurt me. I turned from the sink and found him cowering at my feet, his tail tucked between his legs. I picked him up, my voice soothing, and tried to assure him that I was no longer angry.

And then it occurred to me. How many times have I inadvertently injured someone, either with a careless word or thoughtless act? How many wounds have I inflicted, wounds that took days or even weeks to heal? I shudder to think that because of me, there may be some that carry hurts that may never heal.

Help me, oh Lord, to handle others with the same care You show unto me. Teach me to guard my tongue, and give me the strength to speak only that which is edifying to others.

Ephesians 4:1-3 (New International Version)

1As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.


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