Dinner from the dog’s dish

We’ve saved a great deal on dog food lately because all our scraps from mealtimes are scraped straight into Josie’s bowl. We have no sink disposal and are on a lagoon system, so we are very sensitive about what goes down the kitchen sink drain.

Our dog Josie loves this new arrangement, as she now gets to sample human cuisine on a regular basis. We don’t mind because it keeps down the odor in the trash and is lowering our monthly pet food costs.

Yesterday during the kid’s morning snack, Lauren was having a banana. In her usual fashion, she examined the bite while holding it in the air, then let it fall dramatically to the floor with a “splat”! The dog was outside at the time, or this morsel would have been quickly gobbled up. At the end of her snack, that wayward banana slice was placed in the dog’s dish for Josie when she came back inside.

After I managed to wipe off all the smashed banana from my little girl’s face, the kids ran off while I went upstairs to get another load of laundry. The house grew very quiet while I was gathering clothes in the basket, and then I could hear scampering and splashing in the kitchen. I wasted no time dashing downstairs knowing at least one child was into something they knew better than to do.

As they heard my footsteps on the stairs, the kids immediately jerked from the corner where they were and turned to see me with guilty smiles. Jackson was standing with a napkin stained with globs of yogurt that he had apparently reached from the kitchen counter and was attempting to inhale (mind you this was sitting there from breakfast for several hours, because I had not had the opportunity to clean up yet). So, I washed him off, not noticing what Lauren had been up to.

Then, as I examined the corner one more time, I saw Lauren’s pacifier laying right next to the dog’s bowl. There is usually one reason a pacifier would be laying so casually by the wayside. I looked over to see banana streaked across her face and her mouth chomping on the scraps intended for the dog. It was too late to swipe them out of her mouth, and I didn’t want to come in contact with her razor baby teeth. So, I sighed and cleaned her up, too.

My precious girl later in the day after sampling the dog's cuisine

This dog dish dinner reminded me of a story about a pig slop supper.

A young man had hit severely desperate times, even though he had just recently been very wealthy from a dividend of his father’s fortune. But now, as he stood in the mud and fed hogs trying to make enough the scrape by, he wondered why he had spectacularly and completely wasted such a gift. He was miserable, dirty and deserted. He was so starved he began sneaking bits of the pig slop to take away the intense hunger pangs.  One taste jolted him to his senses. Why was he wallowing in such a place, actually tasting food meant for hogs, when even the servants of his father ate regular, decent meals? Though it meant humbling himself even further, perhaps his father would forgive and allow him to become a servant in his household.

This story of this prodigal son is familiar to us (read the complete account told to us by Jesus in Luke 15:11-42). The son begs for forgiveness, and the father restores his lost son into the family with great celebration.

Knowing God’s lavish mercy and rich blessings in store for his children as evident in this treasured scripture, why do we so often snack in the dog dish? Why aren’t we basking securely in the Father’s love? Why are we constantly struggling to make it in this world on our own and in our own strength? If we are honest, we’d admit that leads us eventually to the pig sty knee-deep in desperation, wondering why we are wallowing when we are children of the Most High. Why do we resist humbling our hearts when our Heavenly Father is waiting to run and wrap us up in His arms and prepare a feast to welcome us back where we belong?

Stop eating scraps out of the dog dish. Let God clean your heart and sit in your ransomed place at His abundant table.

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