What I Learned From A Dog Mauling!


Many years ago as a young boy I was out one night collecting for my paper route. This was the day when kids ruled paper routes, not adults, and you had to go door to door on a monthly basis to collect your money. It was also the day of the “no leash laws”, where family dogs roamed, ruled and sometimes terrorized neighborhoods. There were a number of dog attacks that me and my siblings suffered through as we rode our bikes around the paper route. One memorable night my Mom was driving me around the route to collect. As I approached one door I heard a faint rustle of the bushes. Then before I know what hit me I was down on the ground. Soon I was playing the part of a dog bone to a giant German Shepherd. The lady of the house heard some commotion and dragged the canine off me but not before he got a tasty bite of my behind. With the dog now under control and put away by one of the kids, the Mom led me into the entry way of the house. I was in a bit of a daze and in quite a bit of pain but the worse pain was to come. The mother kept asking me where I got bit and I didn’t want to tell her I had been bitten on my rump. Too embarrassing! But the lady kept insisting and started to pull my pants down to see how bad it was. I kept saying I wasn’t hurt, even though I was in severe pain. The whole time I was battling the Mom by holding my pants up as she attempted to see the bite. For a young boy it was a pretty humiliating experience. I don’t recall if I ever got paid but I got out of the house as soon as I could. I recall running to the safety of the car and plopping into the back seat in agony. Getting bitten was bad enough, and although I knew the lady of the house meant well, having to defend my “honor” was even worse.

Recently there have been a number of high-profile individuals who have had their personal life habits and decisions reported on and exposed to the public. When light has been shed on their choices they have had to endure public shame and humiliation. Sometimes it appears that they are sorrowful and other times it appears they are just sorry they got caught. Most of the time it is the latter. But, not withstanding, all of them seem to recognize that what they have done is unacceptable. When I see these tragedies on the news I always marvel that somehow, they are willing to risk the chance of losing so much for so little. It is a lesson that all of us need to be reminded of. In our personal lives we need to be living, such that, if our lives were exposed to the world we would not be embarrassed.

I learned a lesson on the night I got bit by that German Shepherd. The mauling wasn’t the worst part; it was the examination I was put through after the fact. So too, when we commit sin we will experience the pains of guilt, but sometimes it is the exposure of our unseemly deeds that will cause the greater pain. We know that repentance works and that the Lord forgives, but the repair of our names and reputation in the eyes of others is sometimes a long time coming, perhaps never. Let us live so that a light can be shone on any part of our lives.  Living so will bring peace and comfort to our souls and remove the possibility of being ashamed of our deeds should they be “examined” in a public light.

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