We have a new dog. For those of you who are parents with pets that first sentence should be enough to evoke sympathy. My family wanted a dog, and after having parakeets, fish, a real parrot and a large rodent (guinea pig) we have graduated to a real pet who can actually return affection. The parrot was actually a puppy in disguise, but have you ever tried petting a fish?
The dog’s unofficial name is poo-er which is a contraction meaning “one who poops”. Pastor Igor’s mother in law, Nadia, gave us the dog. Pooer's mom, snoopy, belongs to Igor’s family, but it conveniently lives with Nadia. I asked Igor if he wanted the dog back, and he said that he would accept ownership as long as the dog continues to live in Kiev. Igor is infinitely wise.
After two months of cleaning up small reservoirs and landmines from our living room floor every morning today is the first morning that pooer neither pooped nor sprung a leak during the night. Hurrah!
However, the victory was short-lived; we now have kittens! Apparently they were living under the front porch, and they emerged for food when their mom did not show up to make dinner. Well, we will not have pet cats for several reasons. First of all, I don’t like them. Second, my family is allergic to cats. If you would like a cat then pay me a visit, stick around for coffee, tea or to help us plant this church.
This whole episode reminds me of discipleship, and if you get upset that I am going to compare Christians to pets then you will just have to get over it. God calls us sheep, and I for one could be compared to a dog chasing cars and turning over trashcans before I was saved - spiritually speaking of course.
Many of us have also pooped on the floor a few times – spiritually speaking again – as new believers. Our friends and leaders just put a clothes pin on their noses and patiently cleaned up after us hoping that we would eventually get a breakthrough. Once we think we have made progress with new believers along come kittens – more new people - to complicate things. More work!
However…Even though life can be messy where would life be without lives? My family loves these pets. We are having a lot of fun. Also, where would God’s kingdom be without new life, new people, messy people who need discipleship, lost people – stray souls - who need a home? The church would be a clean house, but it would also be an empty house.
What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost. Matt 18:12-14
Where no oxen are, the manger is clean, but much revenue comes by the strength of the ox. Pr 14:4