Monday, May 31, 2010

Death is horrible.  It is vile.  It is wretched.

There was no peaceful end for my beloved buttercup.  He cried and struggled with the sedative.  I had thought that would have been the last of his suffering, but something about the actual cocktail made him scream and struggle anew despite how deeply he was drugged.  It was no comfort to hear that this happens sometime.

The man I found to come never called back, but the office administrator I reached at my vet's office did.  Calling from her vacation home in South Carolina, she finally managed to find someone to come, to attend to my puppydog.  I only had her number because her brother has MS and she gave me her cell phone number two years ago in case I ever needed something.  I only remembered it after sitting for a few hours waiting for someone to come kill my darling daffodil.

It is the smallest comfort that the vet who came agreed that it was time, that my vet was right in that I would know.  I know what I did was needful. I know that Kashi was suffering, more than I realized according to the vet who came.  She pointed out the signs of his pain that I had missed...his arched back as he walked, the panting that was new, the pacing that had been driving me crazy.  The last three nights where he would sit in front of me, place his chin in my lap, and whine was probably more begging for help than the mental confusion I supposed it to be.

This was needful.  This was a mercy to my precious petunia.

But his death was vile.  It was wretched.  And it was not peaceful in the least.  Not at all.

Pastor F told me to call me and he stayed on the phone with me as I sobbed my way through Kashi's death.  The two women took him away quickly for me, telling me that I had been brave in making this decision.  But having the signs of his suffering pointed out to me has made me realize how selfish  I have been in hanging on to him.  I should have called last week.  I knew last week.  I knew.  I just couldn't face it.  I made my sweet snapdragon suffer more than he had to because I was selfish, because I was too weak, because I just didn't want to do this alone.

I have not slept.  This is my third night without such.  Two where he was anxious and kept me awake and now one where I cannot stop hearing his final scream.

Pastor F admonishes me Christ's love.
Brother Goose rejoices me Christ's love.
The new pastor preaches me Christ's love.

Consider his good Word from yesterday morning on John 3:1-17:

Ears of law see a demand in these words: “You must be born again” (or, as I have said many times, born “from above”). It is true that those words set forth something impossible, at least impossible for us to accomplish. But what is impossible for us is possible for God. These words, “You must,” after we say not only “How can I accomplish them?” but then, “Lord, I cannot accomplish it; I am Yours; save me!” – at that point where we despair of being good, of being holy, of being normal, of being healthy, of accomplishing anything or surviving another moment – at that point when we are killed by the Law and completely empty and hopeless, then He declares, “I Myself give what I demand.”

You could say that I now have an embarrassment of riches where the Gospel is concerned.  But I realized something last night and it has haunted me hour after bitter hour.

For all that I love the Living Word, for all that I have reveled in and cherished the proper division of its Law and Gospel that God has gifted me, for all that I have been humbled by the mercy I have received, I see not a Shepherd who is carrying me across His shoulders, I see not a Father who loves me enough to send His only Son to a vile, wretched, horrible death, and I see not a Holy Spirit who is sustaining me, nourishing me.  I still see a Father who is bitterly disappointed in His child.  I still see a Son who is rebuking me for not being a better witness for Him, and I still see a Holy Spirit who is shaking me by the shoulders because I am so stupid in grasping the good things of Christ.  I only see my failure to shed the wrong teaching that has filled my heart and mind and soul for all these years and grasp the sweet, sweet Gospel I have been given.

The new pastor told me I should take my eyes off of my faith and look upon the object of that faith, for He is not a failure.  The pastor is right.  But what I see when I do that is not what I should, what I hear when I do that is not what I should. I know that, but I see wrong anyway.  I know that, but I hear wrong anyway.  Why?

The Living Word is not ringing in my ears, Kashi's final scream is.

I have been crying so hard that I have thrown up until there is nothing left and then wretched still more.  My eyes are swollen and hurt terribly.  My throat is raw and stiff and painful from trying to stifle my sobs.  I cried out, screamed my anguish so loud that the man who lives next door kept banging on the wall between us.

I wanted a good death, but there is no good death.  There is only that final struggle and the gaping hole in my heart that is his absence.

And there is the unbelievable weight of my failure to see and to hear as I ought, despite all the truth before me.  I do not understand this.  I am appalled to realize the actual view I have of my Savior...harsh, critical, judgmental.

I want Kashi's final scream and his final struggle to leave my ears and my eyes.

I want someone to hold me or at least hold my hand. I want someone to kiss my forehead or at least trace the cross upon it.  I want someone to forgive me and tell me that my failure to see and to hear will not condemn me.  I want Christ body placed in my mouth and His blood poured down my throat. I want to not be alone, physically, right now.

I want to believe rather than to doubt. I want to trust rather than to sit in terror.  I want to rest rather than to fight a foe who is winning a battle he has already lost.

I want these things with my whole being, but I do not understand how to grasp them.

I do not.
I do not.

I do not.

Lord, I believe.  Please, oh, please, help my unbelief!

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