I’m sorry, but I’m going to bring up our dogs again. But first, a text exchange that occurred this morning between Ellen and me.
Me: What is the medicine we use on the dogs that they hate and try to spit out? And what is it for?
Ellen: Panacur. It’s a broad spectrum de-wormer. Why?
Me: I’m going to use it as an illustration for an article I’m writing for my blog.
Ellen: You just did a thing about the dogs…don’t do too much about the dogs.
Me: This would only be my second blog where I mentioned the dogs.
Ellen: Just my opinion, but I would not use them that often.
Ellen: It’s a one-trick pony. Wait and use the illustration in the future. If two out of four mention the dogs, it sounds like you’re one of those pastors who only uses their kids, or their diet, or their workout for illustrations. Boring.
I put down my phone and thought; Well, we don’t have kids in the house anymore, I don’t diet (which I should) and I don’t exercise (which I should) so all I have left are my dogs.
Sorry Honey, and I apologize to the rest of you and promise that I won’t bring up my dogs again until this time next year.
Have you ever had a dog with worms? It’s not that uncommon but it is kind of gross. No…it’s gross. I hope I never get worms. Here’s how Ellen and I deal with this.
I sit on the floor and hold the dog. Ellen fills a syringe with the medicine and shoots it down the back of the dog’s throat. Immediately she holds the dog’s muzzle closed so they can’t spit it out. They almost always manage to spit (or spray) some of it out, usually on me. And while all this is happening Ellen always says to the poor pooch,
“I’m sorry, I know, I know. It doesn’t taste very good does it?”
“The human beings around us are often the bottles that hold our spiritual medicine, but it is our Father’s hand of love that pours out the medicine. The human bottle is the ‘second cause’ and has no real agency in itself. For the medicine these human bottles hold is prescribed for us and given to us by the Great Physician of our souls.” (Hannah W. Smith: The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life)
Is there someone who has wormed their way into your life?
Pause and think.
Is there a difficult person, someone overly critical of you, a church member or board member who seems to oppose every idea you come up with? Can you think of anyone who gossips about you or your spouse? Does a co-worker, boss, or someone in your family come to mind?
Do you have any worms? If not currently I bet you have had some in the past or will in the future.
Embedded in every worm is an opportunity for spiritual growth.
“Remember that He may use anyone at all, however unwitting they may be, to teach us and direct us on our way.” (Saint John of the Cross: Dark Night of the Soul)
I’m sure the Father stole this from Ellen but can you hear Him say, “I’m sorry, I know, I know. It doesn’t taste very good does it?”
Take your medicine. Don’t spit it out. It’ll be good for you.