Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Jesus, a Rescue Dog, and the Cone of Shame
Lulu is our rescue dog. We think she probably has some issues from her past that make her pretty insecure sometimes. Not sure, but can dogs have abandonment issues? Anyway, she got her tail cut, or bit, or torn somehow last week. Tried to patch her up but she kept licking her tail. Obsessively. Over and over again. So she got The Cone of Shame. You know, the large cylinder designed to keep her from reaching her tail. It had to embarrass her in front of the other dogs.
But oh my did the Vet underestimate Lulu's ability to get to her tail. Would not leave it alone so ... yep, ended up having to amputate. We tried to explain it was for her own good. Tried to explain why she had to quit licking her tail. But you know how dogs are. Got another cone. Got some medicine. Tried it again.
And we have made real progress. She is healing up after the surgery now. Finally got her to let it heal. She looks a little different but we think she may make it.
All of which reminds me of Jesus, addictions, healing, and grace.
Sometimes it is a new Christian. Sometimes it is someone who became a Christian at a young age and the battle came when they got older. Sin addictions. Alcohol, drugs, sex, work, food, power, attention. You know what they are. Chances are you have had to battle some of these yourself.
They often do real damage. And if not controlled and defeated, they can do permanent damage.
So you do radical spiritual surgery. You rely on the Holy Spirit, you deepen your Christian connections, you practice confession. You remove some people and activities from your life. You manage consequences. You repent and start in a new direction.
But sometimes you lick the wound. You cannot stay away from the danger zone. You try to quit but relapse.
So you surround your wounds with the cone. Not physically, but spiritually. You get people in place around you. You realize you cannot make it on your own. You commit to be restored by those who will speak truth into your life. Those who will walk with you.
But it is not a cone of shame. It is a cone of love. People who care. Brothers and sisters who have been there. A community of faith that is interested in releasing you from shame and guilt. A church that is committed to healing you by the grace of God.
But you may look a little different. You may have a scar or two. But one day, you realize you are not licking your wounds. You have survived. You have been healed.
It works. Just ask Lulu. Even better, ask some of us. Ask me.
God redeems and God heals.