The Fourth Miracle
Sometimes miracles come in the most unusual shapes and sizes. Oftentimes they stand right in front of our noses and we fail to see them. Other times, they romp around our lives pulling things off shelves and eating shoes and generally bringing up the energy in the household. I refer to our latest and first recent miracle – Reilly. Reilly was a pound puppy. Arriving in the DSPCA at nearly five months of age, nobody
is truly sure what type of a start in life this dog had but my daughter Liz was keen to foster him for two weeks; to give him a good kick-start in life and, in short, we fell in love. We had fostered several times before, but Reilly was different. Where the real miracle occurred was within my husband Ed, a quiet and calm type of a man, who was nervous of dogs,
Ed never really cared to have one around him. It was Ed who became the hero in Reilly’s life by growing so attached to the pup he actually asked the rest of the family could we keep him!
These days the chairs are pushed firmly against the table, nothing is left on the edge of a countertop, shoes are carefully placed in a box (several already sacrificed) and not one hint of chocolate is to be found in the household. We are slow to learn but learning nonetheless and THAT is the second miracle! The third miracle is the apparition of my teenage daughter at 8:30am every day; hair tussled and pale-faced she emerges from her bed to mind the energetic hound who has just had his first walk
with me at 7am. The fourth miracle is determination. There is a wildness in our new arrival that speaks of past hurt and distrust. While it’s only 1% of the time, it has pushed us to the edge of our patience,
sent us to bed almost in tears and challenged us to find a better way to train a little animal who has clearly been abused in some form. In short, we haven’t and won’t give up on Reilly.
If I allow myself, for one moment, to use this love as an example of God’s love and what he requires
of us in loving, then this last miracle is perhaps the most poignant and lies beneath all the other surface changes that need to be made to our daily lives. The fourth miracle is a type of love that (ridiculous as it may seem) makes us go away and think and return again and again with a different tack. It focuses on the ‘other’ as priority. It’s the type of love that isn’t always pleasantly trotting beside us, it chews us up a little on the inside and pulls at the edges of our comfortable lives, desperately seeking our help in healing and teaching. It requires us to make changes to ourselves
on behalf of the other and, above all other things, to never ever give up.