When I was about 10 years old, I had a beautiful, buff colored cocker spaniel. I had seen the purebred litter and she was the pick. I wanted her so much, but we left the kennel without her. I tried to hide my disappointment in my parents, who didn’t even seem to notice how badly I wanted her. But I didn’t know my parents had bought my choice puppy as a Christmas surprise. They had planned it all along.
I named her Cookie and she was my romping companion of delight, my trooper through the fields and woods.
One summer day, Cookie was hit by a car. I saw it happen and so did the tall teenage boy across the street. He ran to her and tried to pick her up but my gentle pet growled and snapped at him. Then she ran away to my house and down into our dirt basement.
I followed her down the steps into the dark and I saw something so horrible: her eye was hanging out! Even so, I felt she would let me, of all people, pick her up and comfort her. But no, with a viciousness she had never shown, she growled and bared her teeth at me. Cookie tried to bite me!
I called my Daddy, who rushed home from work. I went running to him, crying, “Cookie ran under the house and tried to bite me. Daddy, Cookie hates me!” I remember noticing the slight smile he tried to hide. How could he smile if Cookie hated me? I was bewildered. He understood her rage. I didn’t.
Daddy starting moving! And I was trotting along behind him as he went about whatever it was he was doing (which I didn’t understand). He said as he went, “Cookie doesn’t hate you. She loves you, she’s just hurt.” Daddy was quickly gathering the things he needed to help her. He was more concerned about poor hurt Cookie, while I was more concerned that Cookie hurt me!
As a child, I took it personally to my little heart. But Daddy knew what to do. He took a blanket and gently wrapped her completely in it. Though she snapped and growled, he used the blanket to contain her hysteria. He put her in a box so she couldn’t get out. She calmed down, lay still and let him drive her to the vet.
My one-eyed Cookie enjoyed many more years of dog-life and we were best buddies again when she was healed. The monster turned back into her sweet doggie self and I was glad she didn’t hate me anymore.
But little did I know that that incident would become for me a vivid picture of human tragedy. I would return to that scene over and over through life, just to remember the principle of it. Daddy so kindly understood. In time, I also came to understand.
A person who has been run over by a big tyrant-car of life, is a raw open wound, a walking unhealed trauma that feels threatened by everything and everyone. And that person will turn into a vicious pit bull to bite the hand of his healers. It’s a state of critical need but also desperate fear of another bad-car hit. Underneath the cruelty is a hurt being, fragile and vulnerable.
When we need the surgeons’ knife, we don’t attack the Doctor for saving us, but that is grown-up wisdom. The battered child, hiding inside a grown-up body, feels assaulted by the one who comes too close in and carries a blanket of solution and a sword to cut the ropes of agony.
Little did I dream that God had called me to the Cookies of the world. Those who are so damaged as to be grotesquely disfigured inside their hidden heart.
The severely wounded turn mean and vicious even as they beg for healing. When Love sees into their raw, sore soul, they attack. And all their pent up rage toward the driver of their crushing car, they pour onto the one sent to heal their half-blind eyesight. They turn and sink their teeth into the outstretched hand of their rescuer, the very one who knows the road to the great Healer.
Some wounded puppies are willing to be coaxed out of the dark into the Light of healing. Some come out to the SonLight only after years of lonely pain.
Sadly, some never let the rescuer take them to the Healer. They cower in the dark, safe cave of blame – and soothe themselves by hating God and viciously biting people.
That’s all. I have a number of scars and also rich memories of my life with many of God’s Cookies. And I enjoy a whole bunch of sweet life-long buddies who let the blanket of God’s Love enfold their distress and who settled down ~ finally ~ to trust those who have the healing goods.
I do love Cookies. They become the sweetest and best of peoples with the softest hearts and the heartiest of laughs.
When He saw the throngs, He was moved with pity and sympathy for them, because they were bewildered (harassed and distressed and dejected and helpless),
like sheep without a shepherd.
Matthew 9:36 AMP