Tripping over the Dog
Let’s be honest. Everybody’s done it.
I was carrying a large load of laundry in both arms from the bedroom on the 4thlevel of a split-level home, all the way down to the 2ndlevel. Easy enough, yes?
While I was maneuvering my way down the steps, I decided that counting the steps would be a good idea, since I knew there would be nine of them, and I couldn’t actually see my feet below me. The landing had snuck up on me before, and I was pretty sure that falling while carrying an armload of stuff wouldn’t be any fun. But if you’ve gotta fall, landing on a fluffy pile of clothes is better than falling on an armload of glassware, I suppose!
Somewhere around step four, I heard a strange sound. The mix between a clink and a dog yawn. I knew that Maggie was on the stairs. Sigh. Maggie May… my gorgeous Saint BerNewfie- all 150 pounds of her, must have heard me talking and came out to greet me. I immediately start fishing around with my toe… kicking outwardly, trying to encourage her to get off the steps. To get out of the way. After all, I can’t even see her with this armful of clothes- much less get around her.
As I kicked outward, I could feel my brain sloshing around inside my skull. It was that vertigo thing- when you know you’re going to fall and there’s not a lot you can do about it because you’re already off balance and there’s only a quick second before you go completely down.
As fast as I could, I tried to remember what step I was on. Was it 3? 4? 5? Which step was the dog on? Could I jump over her and just land down on the entryway? Would I snap off my legs at the kneecaps from the pressure of the landing? Oh, boy. Here goes.
I could almost see myself in slow motion as I felt my legs buckle under me and my left arm abandoned my laundry and flailed for the banister. “Where, oh, where is that banister?” I don’t remember it myself, but my daughter reports that I let out some kind of howl- maybe the howl of a zebra or the galoot of a hippopotamus as it scrabbles into the marsh for a quick cool off… (is galoot even a word? I don’t think so. But try to imagine it… that was probably the noise that came flying out of my throat as I thought might die and take the dog with me on the stairs.)
Now, you’re probably saying to yourself, “Why all the drama? Who cares about a little laundry when it comes to a couple of snapped off legs?” Well, because I could almost imagine the pain it was going to cause my sweet Maggie to have my 200-pound frame come crushing down on her tiny foot. Or perhaps my entire body falling on her and then we’d roll like a couple of stunt doubles down the stairs together.
How many times has this happened to me in the “real world?” How many times have I been out in the mix with a bunch of people and they make some comment I know is wrong… or try to influence me to do something that I believe strongly just aint right?? Yet, sometimes I’m too afraid I’m gonna “trip over the dog” and hurt one of their feelings if I let loose and say how I feel? What about my faith? Can I be who I am and stand for what’s right and still be friends with those around me who don’t know the Book of Acts from one of Paula Dean’s cook books…
What if the load I am carrying is something I’m worried about? What if I fall- and my whole life comes shattering down around me? What if I’m honest and they kick my sorry self to the curb? Truly, it isn’t worth risking your spiritual life over the paw of the dog. While you do mental gymnastics trying to figure out how not to offend folks, you’ve allowed their messed-up thinking to influence your mind. Please, don’t allow their “normal” to become yours. Live peacefully among men, but be strong and of good courage when it comes to the things of the Lord.
Rev. Kara S. McCoy, an ordained minister from Minnesota has dedicated her life to working with children. She is a licensed counselor, public school teacher, traveling children’s evangelist and horseback riding enthusiast. Graduating from Christian Life College in Stockton, California was a highlight that led her to marry the man of her dreams and start a cute, little family. These days she can be found holding revival all over the country while completing her doctoral studies in psychology and writing humorous Facebook posts.