Love Bites

I was talking to a friend recently about the difficulties of forgiveness... how sometimes, a little distance is necessary. This parable was born from that conversation.


There once was a man, aged beyond his years, worn by the numerous hardships of life. The man did not live alone, though. He had an old, faithful dog that was there for him during the trials.

The dog loved the man, and the man loved the dog.


The man called for the dog when he felt down, and the dog would come sit at the man’s feet. The man talked. And the dog listened.


Because the dog loved the man, and the man loved the dog.


As the years went by, though, the trials weighed heavier on the man. His mind replayed the many wrongs done to him, and he simmered inside.


When the man called the dog, the dog heard a different tone, saw a different look, sensed a greater unsettledness, and he hesitated. The dog wouldn’t come.


But the dog loved the man, and the man loved the dog.


The man took offense, and he called the dog louder. His voice grew stern, so the dog shied away. The man backed the dog in a corner. Then he poked him.


“Why didn’t you come?!” the man said. And he poked again. And again. Then the old, faithful dog bit the man. The man kicked the dog. And the dog laid down in the corner, wincing.


Because the dog loved the man, and the man loved the dog.


The next day the man called again, and the dog, still wincing, wouldn’t come. Again, the man poked and poked until the dog bit. Then the man kicked the dog. The dog laid in the corner and whimpered.


Because the dog loved the man, and the man loved the dog.


The next day the man called again, and the dog, still whimpering, wouldn’t come. The man poked, and the dog bit. The man kicked, and the dog laid in the corner and wailed.


Because the dog loved the man, and the man loved the dog.


Day after day, the man would call, then poke. The dog bit quicker each time. Until one day, the man approached the dog. He reached out, and the dog lunged at the man. He bit the man and ran for the door.


The man called after him, “Where are you going?! Are you leaving me, too?!” The dog looked at the man. And he whimpered. He wanted to run back to the man. But he didn’t. He couldn’t.


Because the dog loved the man, and the man loved the dog.


So the dog ran. And he ran. Because he knew he couldn’t forgive from the corner.

#lifeinparables

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