Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Her dog's name was Magnum

I wanted to change the temperature here today, to bring back some laughter after the sorrows of this past week. But first, I need to talk about something that is weighing very heavily on me today.

A week and a half ago I was in my kitchen and I noticed a dog in my yard. I went out and greeted him, and he came to me. He was big and white and very friendly. I led him to the back yard so he wouldn't run off, and checked his tags. After I gave him a dish of water, I called the number on his tag and left a message for the owner. A short while later she called me back, and when I told her where I lived, she said that she would walk over, as she lived just around the corner. When she arrived we introduced ourselves, and chatted about her dog. He had an invisible fence collar on, and she figured the battery must have died in it. The woman was very slim and pale and I felt an urge to be extra kind to her. She thanked me repeatedly and I told her it was my pleasure and he had been no trouble at all.

Yesterday I found her name on my caller ID. I hadn't remembered her name. It was the young suicidal woman who was shot to death last week. My heart broke when I read the name, realizing who I had had in front of me just a week before her death. I know I could not have prevented what she did. I know that she was not my responsibility. But still.... I had this woman in front of me, and I have the peace in my heart that she was so desperately unable to find. How I wish now that I had been able to give it to her, to share my Jesus with her, to be a friend to her.

I am blessed to have found my way out of the pain and turmoil of my past, and into the life of freedom and peace that I have today. I know the kind of pain that girl felt, and it hurts me now to think of how she must have been suffering. I don't know why God led her into my life for that brief moment, but if nothing else, I will choose to think of her whenever I feel homesick for hell. I don't want to go back to the pain I used to live out each day. I don't know why she was depressed, or what struggles she faced that led her to her decision, or if addiction played any part in her problems. We may have nothing more in common than pain. But I do know what it's like to wish for death, to not know how to cope with that pain for one more day. The difference is that now I know how to live my life free of those burdens. I can only hope that she is resting in peace, and pray for the hard days ahead for her family.


T said...

I'm so glad you're feeling a bit better about this. Still praying for you, sis.

LastwordJen said...

Thanks for sharing this, Shay! You are right; we cannot fix other's pain, especially when we are unaware that it even exists. I cannot help but feel guilty, though. Maybe if I had gotten to know him better, I could have been something to him. Maybe he would still be here.

Shay said...

I completely understand that emotional struggle. I think we need to just let it serve as a marker, that we pay more attention to the people around us. God puts people in our path, and we can pray that He keeps our eyes open to them. Sadly, I did pay attention to this girl, and wanted to reach out to her somehow. Hindsight being what it is, I wished afterward that I had invited her in for coffee or something.