Around 9 p.m. the dog woke from her usual evening slumber and danced and scratched at the door. She had to go outside. She can never be expected to go alone. She requires the presence of the “potty coach.” At first, this need irritated me. No creature should need a potty coach.
In time, I gave in to the coaching. I realized that for what ever reason, that is what my dog needs and I can give it to her. It’s not hard really. In the act of encouragement, I find a certain comfort and peace but this was only found under layers of resistance. I had to stop thinking about what “should” happen and simply accept what was happening. This last sentence is easy to write but very difficult to live.
I walk out into the night and begin to encourage my dog into the optimum state of mind to find the courage to go. I look at the moon. Full and surrounded by a magnificent halo, the clouds pass in front of it but can’t hide its brilliance. There under the moonlight, the ground glistens with the moisture of the recent rain, I lift up my soul to the moon and pray.
“God, I need a miracle. Please help.”
I close my eyes and forget about the dog, the rain and the cold. Silently, I lift myself up as an offering.
“God, I know I’m not much but I’m all I have. I’m yours. Work with me here. I need your help.”
A cold breeze brought me back to the task at hand. I search for my little dog on the grass. At first, all I see is darkness but there in a small patch a bit darker than the rest she is completing her task.
“Good girl!,” I say.
My praise is the only reward and it is enough.
I awake this morning. My back sends me a strong signal that time and the weather conspire against me. I lie under the warm, heavy covers and remember the moon.
“I see the moon and the moon sees me.”
The lines from the children’s story mean something more to me this morning. Stiffly, I rise and slowly begin the rituals of a weekend awakening. The urgency of the day presses in. I am burning daylight. I organize my mind and the tasks that need to be completed. Logging on to the computer to check the bank balance, $6.41 stares back at me. This is not what I want to see.
I feel cheated. I’d wanted God and the moon to magically solve the problems in my life. My irritation begins to spill on to others, the people I love most.
“Come on, God! Really!! This is how you help me?”
God answers in silence. I close my eyes and remember that moment under the moonlight. I pull myself together but the disappointment still pushes down on the edges of my day. I make up my mind to keep my suffering to myself.
But it isn’t easy to let go. I have to think this through. I have to get this frustration out of my system. As I drive about town, I worry about the gas gauge. How am I to keep going, working, hoping? I won’t get a full months pay until the end of December. The end of January’s check will be for about 2 weeks thanks to Christmas break. I make less in the three hours I work than I earned in unemployment but even that was a ridiculous $199 a week.
And yet, somehow, against all odds, I’ve managed to hang on. Maybe while I look for that big miracle, there are lots of little miracles happening every day.
“Maybe, you are the miracle.” A voice deep within me says.
As much as I want to argue and resist, I can not. I’ve been wanting the easy way out. God and the moon aren’t done with me yet. We’ve got work to do.
I’m suddenly aware of the tasks that immediately demand my attention. I look at my son, sitting in the car beside me and I say to him,
“I love you.”
“I love you, too,” he says.
God and the moon are very close.