Wednesday 9 February 2011

Thorny Life.

It was Saturday morning when Father Ignatius noticed that Canis, the dog, was limping on his front leg. Luckily, he noticed the vet’s car parked outside by the farm gate nearby so he popped next door to ask the vet to call at the Parish House when he’d finished his round at the farm.

The vet discovered that the dog had been injured on both front paws by some thorns which he had picked up from a bush in the garden. The injuries had become infected and needed treatment. He sedated the dog and after removing the thorns he cleaned and bandaged both injured paws. He explained that the dog should remain indoors most of the time and the bandages changed daily.

Every time Father Ignatius and Mrs Davenport, the housekeeper, approached the dog to clean and re-bandage his wounds he would growl and bare his teeth. No matter how gently they tried the dog would not let them near him as he cowered in his bed.

At one stage the dog snarled and bit Father Ignatius’ hand drawing blood.

“Oh dear Lord …” said Mrs Davenport as she cleaned the priest’s wound, “do you think your hand is infected?”

“We’ll soon see, if I start to scratch my ear violently like the dog does …” chuckled Father Ignatius.

“This is no joking matter …” interrupted the housekeeper, “the dog’s a menace … We’re only trying to help him … can’t he understand that?”

“He’s only reacting like you and I would …” said the priest.

“I’ve never bitten anyone, Father!” she replied indignantly.

Father Ignatius smiled and continued.

“You see Theresa …” he said, “when things go wrong in our lives, we too growl and snap at God in anger.

“We blame Him for what has happened. And quite wrongly so.

"God of course can take our anger. He did after all take our anger when nailed to the Cross, did He not?

“And although He is nearby, ready to help us, whenever He approaches we snarl and fight back.

“Somehow, our defensive attitude, understandable as it is, being born of human nature, is the very obstacle which keeps God at bay and blocks His ever present gift of love, caring and healing.

“The only way we can help Canis is if he trusts us and submits himself totally to our care.

“And so too it is with God. The only way He can help us, when we are ill or facing difficulties in life, is when we totally trust Him and accept that His will for us is for the good.

“Human nature, of course, gets in the way … just like with the dog and his instincts to reject help. But our human nature should not stop us from at least trying our best to trust God.”


  1. This is very insightful, Victor. I can see that this is true because I recognize this defensiveness in myself, too. Thanks for the wonderful story :)

  2. Poor doggie! And poor us that it takes so long for us to understand why God asks us to accept His sometimes painful ministrations. If I didn't have so many rough edges He wouldn't have to sand so hard.

  3. Trust is such a hard lesson for us to learn, but if only we could with God. We are so much like this poor little dog- too wrapped up in our pain to trust the One who can help.
    Thanks Victor and God bless!

  4. Hi Mary, Barb and Karinann.

    It's so nice to see you here again.

    I suppose our first human instincts will always be to complain and whine rather than trust in God. And He knows that!

    God bless.

  5. What an apt comparison, Victor. And how it must hurt our Savior when we lash out at him and refuse to accept his help.

    I loved Barb's observation: "If I didn't have so many rough edges He wouldn't have to sand so hard."

  6. Excellent Victor. Even after God removes our thorns, we still growl and show our teeth. I love it. And he still attends to our wounds and heals. Thanks for another great analogy.



God bless you.