Random and not so random musings from a 5th generation NE Missourian who became a 1st generation Episcopalian. Let the good times roll!

(Stained glass window at Christ Church, Tarrytown, NY--courtesy of Josh Thomas of The Daily Office)

Josh posted this picture on his Daily Office blog for the feast day of Mary and Martha, and I was immediately captivated. Not because of the Mary and Martha story--some days I have problems with the Mary and Martha story (I tend to think Martha gets a raw deal in the traditional telling of the story.) My fascination centered on the little brown dog snoozing behind Jesus' chair. Josh posted on Facebook that the window was donated by a woman who had a reputation for being rather Martha-like, herself.

For starters, I was intrigued that someone put the dog in the portrayal. Was the donor of the window a dog lover? The dog looks a little Dachshund-like--did she have a beloved Dachshund whom she immortalized through this window, a dog that had passed away?

But as I sat and meditated on this picture, letting my spiritual imagination freely roam into it, several thoughts came to mind, and very few of them were about Mary or Martha, but mostly about the interplay between the little brown dog and Jesus.

I thought about how when I know my dogs are behind my chair, how I am so careful not to move the chair. I figured Jesus would also be careful about such things--not to scoot backwards and catch his tail or a paw under the chair leg.

I thought about how my dogs tend to glom onto house guests and ignore me like I must horribly mistreat them. Martha might have fussed at the dog--"Oh, get down--Jesus doesn't want your dirty paws all over him. Now go on. Go lie down. GO LIE DOWN." I've certainly been there, done that--and dogs, being dogs, often pull their little defiant shtick and lie down--right beside the guest whom you just told the dog to leave alone!"

As I looked at the dog, I could almost imagine him snoring in that cute "dog snore." I thought of how my two dogs would have looked in this scene. Little Eddie would have leaped right up on Jesus' lap and been in his face. Boomer would have put his head on Jesus' thigh and looked up longingly at him with that big doe-eyed "Love me...please love me...I am a good dog...really I am," look. They would be their own dog version of Mary and Martha--Boomer as Mary, quietly soaking up every word, and Little Eddie as Martha, paws on Jesus' chest and licking his face, going, "I so glad you are here, Jesus! I go get my tennis ball and you can THROW it, ok?"

Then I had an interesting realization.

When I look at that window, when I cogitate who I want to be in this story portrayed in the window...I want to be the little brown dog.

I want to be the one who is content to sit behind Jesus' chair, to let Jesus do his thing, to be comfortable enough to sit and listen to what he has to say to the point I am not afraid to fall asleep in the middle of it. To be able to fall asleep behind him and feel safe and assured he is not going to back up and crunch my tail under the chair leg. To not be concerned about anyone else in the room or what they think of my being there. To not worry if I'm going to be fed or not. To not be sleeping in front of him, to not be sleeping ON his feet where he could not move them, but to sleep BEHIND him. But so close that he knows I'm there, and is mindful of me.

Oh, Lord...please make me more like that little brown dog in the stained glass window.


Suffer little dogs, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

Boomer and Little Eddie would be right with you on that one! Little Eddie would probably tell us, "Yeah...DOG...D-O-G. Dat GOD spelled backwoods. Dat not a co-in-si-dense, you know..."



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Kirksville, Missouri, United States
I'm a longtime area resident of that quirky and wonderful place called Kirksville, MO and am wondering what God has hiding round the next corner in my life.

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