Thursday, July 17, 2008

Two Funerals In Last 24 Hours

Dr. Michael DeBakey passed away at the age of 99 and his funeral was held today. They said Dr. DeBakey was the pioneer of medicine in the 20th century. He was a hero and changed the world!

We lost one of our family members yesterday at the age of 112. She had no impact on the world, but had a wonderful impact on our family. She changed the context of our world. We knew death was not too far around the corner. She lost her eyesight during the past year and was starting to get pretty frail. I just wasn't ready for her death yesterday.

Pixie Mathews came into our lives back in 1993 when we were living in Texas City. One of Patti's students offered her a puppy and Patti accepted it, much to the surprise of the rest of the family. Patti said she would never have a house dog and we all knew she was partial to cats. This addition to our home was a tremendous surprise.

Pixie was Pomeranian/Pekingese and the runt of the litter. She lived with us in six houses over a 15 and one-half year period of time. She became a family member and a "house" dog, I might add. The kids left home for college, got married, and started their own families, but Pixie remained and was one of the constants in all of our lives.

Pixie, like many dogs, loved us unconditionally and we loved her. It seems like any dog owner would have to learn about total acceptance from their dog. How could they not apply that to the acceptance and love God has for us. He sent His only Son to give His life for us. He paid the penalty for our sin. You can learn a lot from a dog, but it pales in comparison to how much God loves us. Dogs stay with us during all the ups and downs of life, but God even more so. They are faithful to the fullest extent of the word, but God is faithful beyond what we can even imagine.

When I came in from church last night, Patti said, "I think Pixie is dead." I was shocked at several levels, but it was not a 100% surprise either. There was no heart beat, the warmth had gone out of her body, rigor mortis was setting in, and when I looked into her wonderful eyes, no one was home. It was the look I had never seen in her. I was the one who bathed her from the time she was a pup. The life that I had held so many times was gone.

We both know that a dog does not have a soul, but Pixie had a spirit about her, a personality that is no longer with us. She loved to be in the back yard and feel the gentle breeze blow in her face. She would close her eyes and look like she was in total relaxation as the wind blew her hair. She thought she was a watch dog--her bark did get people's attention, but her 8# physique gave her away.

Today, there is a big hole in our lives and something missing in our home. When I look on the floor of our bedroom she is not there. When I shaved this morning, she was not looking at me like she did yesterday morning. When I cut the grass this weekend, she will not be in the backyard with me. She is not around in all the old familiar places. Patti says she doesn't want another animal...I's the grief of life.

Now, if we can love an animal like that and receive her much more should we be able to love a human being that has a soul that Jesus died for?

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