Monday, June 4, 2012

Stuff

I am sitting here enjoying some Godiva Salted Caramel Milk Chocolate, which I bought while I was out earlier. I think I may well finish off this entire bar before it's all said and done! Read on to see why.

I went to run an errand only to walk into the house and face what is becoming an unwelcome but familiar sight. Tiger had gone through some trash and torn it all to pieces. Last week, it was an unopened package of toilet paper. Today, it was much worse.

Not only that but to my horror, mixed in with the shreds of the trash strewn all over my floor, was a very familiar piece of clothing - my new favorite little black dress. I honestly didn't know how to be at that moment.

When he was a puppy, Tiger had some similar naughty behavior but only once or twice. Here in the past month, it's been three or four times and I can blame only myself.

My schedule has been such that I've been coming home late and some nights not at all, but having friends come to let him out. He's bored and he needs some attention. We all get that way, but when I looked and saw my dress which I had just worn to a wedding the night before all chewed up and beyond repair, I lost it.

I started shouting, "Bad dog! Bad dog," all the while reminding myself out loud, "It's only a dress. It's only a dress." I bet I must've said that seven or eight times before I finally sat down on the edge of my bed and started crying. It may have been only a dress but it was my favorite NEW dress, which I had only worn maybe four times.

At this point, I had already let Tiger outside to think about what he had done. I needed to calm down without being constantly reminded of how cute he is and that he probably had no clue why I was shouting, "Bad dog," at him.  Never the less, I needed for him to be momentarily invisible!

Through the tears, a flood of recent instances came to mind: People that recently either said or did hurtful things to me and/or others, situations that needlessly became blown out of proportion and some things I'd done that were unkind or unthoughtful... It was all just spurred on by unimportant stuff, yet my stuff and other people's stuff caused it all.

We put so much weight on the stuff of this world, and we needlessly carry our own stuff into situations and relationships where it can do harm to others and also to ourselves. Why do we do that? We do it because if we are not transformed by our pain, we transmit it.

I've heard that quote before and then again, just today before Hurricane Tiger blew through. I think the tears came not so much because of the dress disaster, but because I came face to face with how much more I need to be transformed because of those situations the Lord brought to mind.

I can laugh now at my dual perspective during my ordeal: "It's just a dress. Bad dog! Bad dog! It's just a dress," but if we're not careful "our stuff" can become all that matters, and we can lose sight of what's really important. Often, it's our stuff that blocks our vision and keeps us blinded to how we can negatively and sometimes, detrimentally affect others.

I don't want my stuff to get in the way of me loving others through their stuff or even in spite of their stuff. I don't want my stuff to be a hindrance for unity in the Body or to cause discord. I want to be transformed by my stuff, so that when someone else makes my desires, my joys, my loves their trash heap, my response is one that stems not from my brokenness, but instead it brings peace and is shrouded in forgiveness because it comes from a place of healing. I'll get there, hopefully without having to resort to Godiva chocolate bars.