While driving one evening it came to mind that “sometimes my life feels like being one of the good legs on a lame dog”. That's when I remembered Queenie; she was an old half blind beagle dog my father had when I was growing up on the farm. Dad was fond of that dog, I never knew why. Queenie had so many pups her belly drug the ground, she had a blind eye that had gone white and she smelled really bad. But my father said she could raise a scent, which meant she could still hunt. As good as she could smell though she didn't smell the car that came down the dirt road passed our house one night and hit her causing her to loose her back leg.
That old brown and white beagle managed to make it all over the farm....more like all over half the county. Nothing held her back not even the loss of one hind leg. She would follow us kids through the fields and through the barns, when we went down the dirt road on our bikes she had to go too. We used to throw stones at her to make her go back but that never deterred her. She always found some way to follow us.
My father had an Irish setter named Chips I loved that dog, Queenie never let Chips get ahead of her. If Chips went hunting then Queenie went hunting. When Chips rough housed with us Queenie wanted to play also. We would play fetch with Chips; Queenie would be right there just waiting for someone to pay attention to her.
As kids we would hop around on one foot trying to keep our balance. That dog always caused us to wonder how she could still run and not fall down. Over the next few years, I began to have a respect for that dog; she actually started to grow on me. She had such a heart to act and live like a dog with four good legs. The problem with Queenie was that she never saw herself as handicapped.
No matter how good she was at getting around Queenie was still considered lame. She had three good legs and even though they out numbered her infirmity, she was still seen as a lame dog. What do we look at when in a relationship, or on a team, or in a marriage and someone comes up lame? What if you feel like a whole leg but you are in a church with a limp. I'm not talking about physical or mental handicaps but rather something more emotional or spiritual.
For instance to be in a partnership with someone which can mean anything from business to school, and one partner doesn't do their share of the work or carry the load or come up short, missing the mark. In a marriage when one person doesn't consider the destination of the couple but instead concentrates on the needs of his or herself. When a family chooses to serve the Lord and one goes back, now they all walk with a limp.
Years after Queenie died of old age; my grandmother became an amputee, the result of complications due to diabetes. I found this so sad because my greatest memories of Mammaw were the walks she would take with me around the farm. She would walk purposely, back straight and head high all while wearing a dress, my son would have called her a power walker. We had long talks about all kinds of things or she would identify wild flowers, trees, and birds whatever. I didn’t mind if we talked at all I just loved taking these walks, if someone else was along they would usually run ahead or horse play. I would have her to myself.
My Grandmother also didn’t know she was handicapped. Recently at a family reunion we told stories about growing up and one of my cousins told the story on Mammaw, just after becoming a double amputee, my cousin who was home with her at the time had to help her onto the commode. My cousin was in high school at the time and she wasn’t trained to lift Mammaw so they both ended up on the floor, laughing. The two of them laughed so hard that they couldn’t get back up off of the floor.
My grandmother dealt with hard places in the same way she walked the fields, back straight and head high, purposefully because she didn’t allow the limp to get her off course. In fact Mammaw and Queenie had a lot in common. My dad still took Queenie out hunting, not that she would have let him leave her behind.
She would stick her nose in the air and purposefully follow a scent no one else could smell.
“Make level paths for your feet”, so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed. (NIV) Hebrews 12:13
Read more articles by Theresa Kissinger or search for articles on the same topic or others.