Thursday, July 14, 2005

Weep For Gandalf The Second

Last week, we fought to save the life of our bearded dragon who was slowly, painfully dying of yellow fungus. Our boys held the shriveling lizard. Gave him fresh air. Water. Heat. Crickets. Company. They even prayed every night for Gandalf’s healing, but, unlike the famous Lord of the Rings character, this Gandalf didn't have the power to overcome death. It was terrible to watch a creature in their care suffer, struggle for life, and finally die, and they were crushed.

But Gandalf the Second served a purpose. He (she? it was hard to tell) showed us how our Master feels when a creature in His stewardship suffers. And G2 provided the opportunity to practice healthy grief. Even when you're a teenager, even if the creature who dies is a a small, scaly, non-cuddly reptile, you can still crawl back into bed and let the tears flow. In fact, you should. When you're ready, you can sing a hymn, make a grave, inscribe a stone, and remember your beloved in grateful silence. Finally, G2 gave our spiritual muscles of surrender some exercise. When prayers aren't answered our way, it’s a chance to take the prescribed faith-strengthening medicine offered by Jesus: declaring and accepting, "Thy will be done."

We have many awesome vocations on this side of heaven — including the three-fold call to pray, grieve well, surrender. Obeying this is terrifying, but we're a little less scared of it now. If you're in the praying stage, enduring a time of grieving, or trying desperately to surrender, may you know the company of a Master who suffers with you. Like our boys did for Gandalf the Second.



P.S. The dragon in the pic is not Gandalf. S/he's a random google dragon I found to show you what they look like. And don't worry, we still have Strider, our lab, and Arwen and Legolas, our ferrets, to keep us company.

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