Blame the Dog!


This is my dog
Sarah. She’s
a Schnorkie, Schnauzer/Yorkie mix


I admit, I’ve wished my dog dead.

Animal lovers
everywhere will now slander my blog and ridicule me.

And yet, I still
admit it.
As a child, one of
my favorite Bible stories was Jonah and the Whale. Now, I’ll say right now it
may not have been a whale. It was a big fish, but a child of course relates a
big fish with a whale so…
This story of a man
who didn’t obey the Lord, stuck in a fish belly for 3 days until he said sorry,
and then he preached God’s message and everyone said sorry. Strangely, this
story didn’t scare me to get in the water or go out on boats, and it didn’t make
me afraid of God.
I also didn’t
understand the story of Jonah in its entirety until I was an adult. Jonah was
never afraid to go to Nineveh but I always thought that as a kid and was
taught, never be afraid of what God asks you to do. Side note: Nineveh was a
hopping and bopping ancient city built by the father of porn–Nimrod. Yeah, he
was a sick son of a gun. Imagine what a city built by an evil man would be
Jonah wanted Nineveh to go up in flames. He wanted the people punished and that’s why
Jonah ran the other way.
And even when he
realized there was no getting out of it, when he did go and share God’s
message, when the people did repent and change their ways, he was still mad.
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“Jonah was furious. He lost his temper. He yelled at
God, “God! I knew it—when I was back home, I knew this was going to
happen! That’s why I ran off to Tarshish! I knew you were sheer grace and
mercy, not easily angered, rich in love, and ready at the drop of a hat to turn
your plans of punishment into a program of forgiveness!” Jonah 4:1-2 MSG

Jonah didn’t want
God to give forgiveness. The people of Nineveh didn’t deserve it.
Neither did Jonah.
Neither do we.
God decided to teach
Jonah a lesson (not the kind of lesson He taught with the tuna fish or whale…or
some kind of big fish). Jonah took off and sat under a large tree to see what
would happen to Nineveh and while sitting there, God grew a vine up and it shaded
Jonah. The next day, God sent a worm to eat the vine and caused a raging east
wind to blow. Basically, God took a blow dryer to Jonah’s head.
And guess what? That
made Jonah mad. Are we shocked? Not really.
“Then God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the
And he
said, “It is right for me to be
angry, even to death!” Jonah 4:9
was such a drama queen wasn’t he? I’ve never been so mad I want to die. Have
you? But I get the point–the intensity of anger.
And here
is where I weep. Every. Time. Here is where I see the tenderness and compassion
of our great God.
” But the Lord said, “You
have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it
grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. 
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 And should I not have concern for
the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and
twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and
also many animals?” Jonah 4:10-11

I can
relate to the people of Nineveh. Sometimes I don’t know my right hand from my
left. But God is concerned about me. He’s in a hurry to have compassion and
mercy on me.
week, I wrote a small passage from one of my mss. It was about a church’s fall
festival and one of the characters comes dressed as if she were modeling for
Penthouse. Though the scene is somewhat humorous, my point came in the lines
afterwards. The lines you didn’t get to see. And I used something my husband
said to me (though I tweaked it for the ms).
And that
brings me back to wanting my dog dead.
morning I headed to the kitchen for my coffee and across the kitchen and living
room floor was chicken and bones. My dog stood there as if, “What? Who
doesn’t love chicken?”
I might
have been mad enough to want to die. Mostly, I wanted my dog to. I went into a
rant, hollering and carrying on like a total buffoon as I cleaned up her nasty
mess. I looked up and my husband was casually leaning against the wall with a
cup of coffee in his hand and a smirk on his face. Normally, this stance makes
me swoon. This morning, I might have hoped he spilled the coffee on his bare
I hissed.
think this might be the most you’ve ever spoken to the dog. A lovely way to
wake up by the way.” Smirk galore.
you not see this disaster! Wipe the grin off your face.”
And here
is where he got me.
you can’t blame a dog for being a dog.”
He did put his coffee cup down and helped me, but his amusement made me mad
enough to tell him to “just go drink your coffee. I got this.”
can’t expect someone who doesn’t know Jesus, to act like Jesus. Doesn’t mean we
let them get away with murder (literally sometimes), it just means we don’t
snub (then whisper to our friends) the chic in the micro-mini and wonder where her morals are.

Or turn
our nose up at the woman reading an explicit novel at the pool. Maybe we should sit down and instead of telling her
why she’s bound for Hell, ask her what she’s reading, what she likes about the
story (you may discover it’s not about the sex scenes at all) and then share
some books we like (not necessarily screaming, “It’s Christian fiction you
should read it and get saved!) It could become a great chance to minister as light not as a gavel.

means, when the Biker drops an f-bomb at the table next to us, we don’t gasp for everyone to hear and hope he doesn’t show up at our church. And really, what do you expect when you’re eating hot wings at Hooters?
I can
relate to Jonah as well as Nineveh.
It takes
God’s strength to help me step back and see things through His eyes–with mercy
and compassion. Two things I fail at often. Probably my biggest two! Yeah, I
admit it. But I’ve been learning and growing. Especially as I’ve been writing
curriculum for a new and growing believers class.
matter how I feel whether through Jonah’s eyes or Nineveh’s, it still boils
down to one thing:
God is
concerned. God wants people to know how much.
What about you? Can you relate to Jonah? Nineveh?…
my dog?