My kids have always wanted a dog. More specifically they always wanted a bulldog. For various reasons we put them off for years. Earlier this year a student at the Bible college here in Peru purchased the cutest pit bull puppy. He didn't think the whole deal through though. He couldn't take a puppy back with him to Lima and now he had this puppy and had to find a home for him in less that a week. I decided we would keep the puppy. The kids loved her and she was a sweet dog, but she was growing fast and getting so strong. When they would play she could chase down my youngest and just run her over. Even though she was playing, I decided she needed to go because I didn't want any of my kids torn up by a dog even if the dog was only playing. We gave her to a young man who has been taking great care of her. My kids were sad, but we told them that we would eventually get a dog and probably even a bulldog.
About a year and a half ago, my grandmother passed away. She was the most amazing and kindest woman. She left my kids some inheritance. Then, while on our furlough in the states, my uncle gave my kids some money for Christmas and their birthdays. So we started looking around for a bull dog and decided to use the money they were blessed with to get a dog that they wanted. My kids had been so patient for so long. We found a bull dog in Lima and our good friend brought him up to us. We named him Hulk and he was such a good puppy. We had him for twelve days when he started to show signs of sickness. We took him to the vet and they started him on IV's and he kept getting worse. I stayed up with him for three nights and our friend stayed up with him one night. He was under twenty-four hour care for four days and yesterday he died. He had came down with Parvovirus. It was so hard to watch him go through this and I feel so bad for my kids, but it brought to mind people who have to deal severe sicknesses in their kids. I can't even imagine how hard it must be to watch one of your children suffer. I think of Britt Merrick and all that he went through his beautiful daughter. My heart aches for those with children suffering. It has put a new section to pray for in my prayer time.
One of the nights I was up taking care of Hulk, I was watching Hawaii Five-O. The episode was about a bus of kids getting kidnapped and held for ransom. What struck me was when a father said to the detective, "my son wanted to go surfing with me this morning and I told him I couldn't I had paper work to do. I thought there would be one thousand more mornings to go surfing with him." That hit me like wrecking ball. How many times do I tell my kids, I'm busy preparing a sermon or I'm reading, or I have a paper to write for class or I have to work out or I have to………….fill in the blank. Not that studying to preach or taking care of your health or any of the like is not important, but what if in that moment it was going to be a defining moment in your child's life? What if that time you stop to play lego's they are going to come to see the gospel in your love for them? What if that is the time that they see that dad truly does love me and he must truly love Jesus, he took time away from what he was doing for me. Not only that, but time goes so quick. Today is my daughters 5th birthday. To me it seems just like yesterday she was learning to walk. If I am too busy doing all these other things, I will miss out on those times that I will never get again. This is her only 5th birthday, what she does today will only be done today. I don't want to miss out on watching them learn and experience and see all that the Lord does in their lives.
While Hulk was sick I asked Don to preach on thursday night, because if Hulk had lived until tonight, I would have had to stay home and take care of him. Life is but a vapor was heavy on his heart so he will preach from James about what are we doing with our time. Our pastor's father just passed away a couple days ago and while Don was preparing he saw the news on Facebook. When I read the post from Facebook, I was so blessed to see how my pastor was able to go and spend time with his father before the Lord took him into His presence. I wondered, what if my pastor didn't have the time to go and visit his dad that one last time? I wish we could have seen my grandmother one last time. I wish Hulk was still running around chasing my kids. One thing is for sure though. I have this time and when my kids want me to take a break and build legos, play soccer, read a book or just talk, I have this time. My pastor loves his kids and from what I have seen, he spends crazy time with them. I respect that so much and I want to follow his example in that. I have a God given congregation right in my own home. They won't be in my "church" forever, so while they are here, I need to use the time.