Beware of Dog

I’ve always had a system that works pretty good for the most part.  Good for me at least – to keep me safe and protected from untrustworthy people.  Obviously I don’t go into a friendship thinking things will go south, but sometimes they do.  Sometimes the more you get to know someone, the more you realize they don’t have your back.  They say things that hurt you and sell you out.  Suddenly there’s no trust.  We’ve all had this experience. 

When I was kid I thought it was my job to try and stick that relationship out – to love that person no matter what and still try to be their friend.  But I always got hurt.  It’s like going to pet a dog that you love but the dog bites you every time. Eventually you stop pursuing the dog and leave it alone to avoid permanent scarring.

I eventually made the connection that putting yourself in harm’s way is not healthy.  You’re not obligated to do that.  But instead of embracing a reasonable safety zone I took it to the next level. 

“If you betray my trust, I’ll just carve you out of my life and walk away.  FAR AWAY.  Out of sight, out of mind, out of my life.  I”ll pick up and move and you’ll never be able to find me again.  BOOM, problem solved.”

Ashamedly, it’s only been recently that I’ve recognized this system I put in place.  It’s not helpful, or biblical.  I’ve read this story a million times, always thinking of myself as the child, never as the Father.  But there is a lesson here that I’ve missed…

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. 21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.


What if the prodigal son had returned to his home to find it abandoned? Then what? Reconciliation is not even an option anymore.  It doesn’t matter that the son returned home b/c he is now denied the chance to be forgiven.  To be healed.  To be restored to right relationship.  This is what I’ve been doing…..for a long time.

The father didn’t run off the with son and get dragged through all his mistakes.  That wasn’t his job.  It wasn’t his job to keep getting bitten by the dog.  But it was his job to stay at home, waiting, hoping, being available.  He had no guarantee that his son would ever return, but he stayed anyway. 

This is already revolutionizing my heart.  A selfish, guarded heart is always a dead end.  I do want restoration.  I do want healing in broken relationships.  If I really mean those words I need to stick around. 

Unconditional love sticks it out.

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1 Comment

  1. Wow. What an intense lesson to learn. I do this too and have only recently HAD to confront it. It sucks, but it’s RIGHT. Praying for you (and me haha) as you do this!


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