This morning, I woke up, swung my legs out of bed and as my feet hit the floor I felt something wet and slightly slimy.
I opened my eyes and saw it on the floor…skinny.
Now, Skinny is a mess. No head, no stuffing, no tail–just a bit of fur. However, it does not matter how many new toys we give our big boy Buddy, each morning we wake up to find Skinny somewhere near our sweet puppy.
I’ve often wondered why he loves this so much. Then, it hit me.
Okay, now if this were a Disney movie we would have some slightly sad, but yet inspirational music playing in the background and we would see a grainy and faded flashback with a voice over by Mr. Buddy himself.
(I imagine him sounding a bit like John Wayne)
“There I was huddled in the back corner of of that concrete cage–matted with burrs, covered with stickers and reeking of urine. There were other dogs, laughing, yipping and trying to get the attention of the people passing by. I didn’t have the energy. Ticks had sucked it all out.
A little girl with curly hair walked by. She looked at the other two dogs and then passed on. She came back. Stopped. Then she looked straight at me. I lifted my eyes. It was the best I could do.
A few minutes later she came back with two big people. They opened the gate and took me out into the sunshine. I sat there as they looked at me, stroked me and tried to get me to fetch a ball.
I just sat there.
Then, they opened my mouth and put a furry thing in it. It wasn’t a rabbit. It didn’t taste like food. It was long, skinny and crinkled a bit.
After a while, they took the furry thing away and walked me back to the cage.
The next day they came back. They brought the same furry thing.
Then they came again. And again.
Finally one day they walked a different direction, took me outside and they put me in a big black thing that moved. Beside me they put the furry thing. The little girl called it ‘Skinny.’
From there my life changed.
I am now part of a family.
Sometimes they annoy me–like when they accidentally kick me in the middle of the night. I’m still training them not to ignore me. If I feel I am getting left out, I just crawl up into their laps. Sometimes I have to speak to them. However, they always reach down, give me a rub and tell me how much they love me.
Life is really good.
At night, when things are quiet, I like to be with Skinny. Skinny saw where I was and Skinny was with me when I was brought to this big house and even bigger yard.
Now, my people keep trying to give me new things–they call them toys. They are nice, but I want to always remember…”
As I stepped on Skinny that morning, I felt God speaking to me.
Buddy was in a dark place that ultimately would lead to death. Like each of us, he was handpicked for a beautiful life of purpose. He was raised up, cleaned up and now he eats, sleeps and lives in a place of honor.
The past few years flashed through my head and I saw all that God had done.
When he brought His people across the River Jordan He instructed them to pick up twelve stones from the dry land in the middle of the river and place them in a pile so they could serve as a memorial forever for the people of Israel (Joshua 4).
I started to think of my own “Skinnys.”
I have pictures, small objects and even a pair of ripped pants to remind me of the unwavering faithfulness of the Lord.
Deut 6:7 commands us to take the laws of God and talk about them, decorate our house with them and make them a part of our daily life. This year, I want to do the same with the stories of His provision, deliverance and overall goodness.
I want to make sure I always remember…
So, what is your “skinny?”
P.S. If you are scratching your heads, it’s ok. This originally was written about ten years ago, but skinny still stays in our house in a place of honor as a testament to God’s love. Ranger–who lives on a steady diet of dirty socks–is not allowed to touch it.