And it’s funny how God does that. Tonight an incredibly awkward and potentially painful moment was staved off by a gangly blue Great Dane named Gunny and my stocky Golden Retriever. It is physically impossible to take one’s self too seriously, or convey anything other than personal amusement, if you are walking more than 200 pounds of dog. To the puppies, and to God, I say thank you.
I just bought a house. It’s my first house and I’m excited about it. But the house is on the other side of town, a side of town where I used to live but where the memories are a little painful–the place where friendships died and romantic relationships ended, you know, those kinds of places. But I loved the neighborhood and I loved the house (and the oak floors), so I made the commitment and am moving back.
Funny thing, change. Tonight, as I walked through my current neighborhood–the sterile apartment complex–I ran into one of those former friends, a person from the old neighborhood, a person who I thought wounded me terribly. But it has been years, and while I had always, sinfully, imagined I would be cold or unfeeling should we ever meet again, time had taken the edge off the pain of losing that very dear friendship. However, even though we live in the same city, I had never seen her since–not at the grocery store, not anywhere.
Until tonight. Until those two dogs, dragging me, giggling, through the parking lot. Until the Great Dane stuck a slobbery face right into her middle, and until the Golden Retriever sat down, tail wagging, asking for a pet. We talked. It wasn’t much. It probably won’t go any further than that. But we talked. And I believe God was honored. I know I felt peace.
I’ve said this before–I’ve always been a big fan of symbol. It is the way I understand my faith, and often the easiest way for me to accept those truths that may be hard for my little brain to grasp (see all the previous posts about my journey to Orthodoxy). So I find it so interesting that, on this literal eve of my move back to that former place, a move of my new self, a deeper faith and a better understanding of what God wants for me, I have an opportunity to close that door–in a strange way that may have left it open.
And as I walked down the street, or better dragged down the street, I had to laugh.