Our dog, Theo, loved trash. It was his greatest delight in life. He loved nothing more than a large, heaping garbage can and a peaceful afternoon with no one home. He savored the opportunity to scatter drippy bean cans and chewed paper towels covered in bacon grease from one end of the living room to the other.
Whenever we were rushing around, anxious to get out the door, Theo was just as anxious. He would just cross his furry finger-toes, hoping that we’d forget to put him in the laundry room. And if we did… oh happy day!
He would wait at the window, listening for the garage door to go back down and watching the van exit the driveway. When the house became still, he would check every room to make sure no one had stayed behind. And if the coast was clear, he would go to the trash.
Now, there was a baby lock on the cupboard door, which none of the people in our house could easily open, but Theo was always up for the challenge. He would stand on his hind legs and bang the cupboard door. Bang. Bang. Bang. He would paw at the door for ten minutes if need be! Then his dedication would finally give way to a heap of garbage to sort and lick and chew and strew onto the carpet. It wouldn’t do to make the mess on the kitchen floor. Oh, no! Carpet was much better.
And once every square inch of the carpet was covered with shredded, drippy mess, Theo would lay down contentedly in the middle of it. It was a good day.
But for me—his ‘master’—this was not a good day! I abhorred coming home to the tilted can and the shredded trash, which would take a good 30 minutes to clean up. It made me angry and resentful. Why did Theo so love the trash? Why couldn’t he just leave it alone?
What a picture of being affected by a family member’s sin. We loathe the sneakiness and the hiding and the recurring mess from our loved one’s sin. We can’t understand why they love their sinful garbage so much! We become angry and resentful and ask, “Why can’t he just leave this alone?”
The answer is in John 3:19.
“…people loved the darkness rather than light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.”
Like a dog who savors garbage, people love their trash–their heaps of sin which make messes all over everyone’s space. But our Father is a much kinder master than I. John 3:17 says,
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”
Isn’t he such a good, kind God? If you’re cleaning up the mess of someone you love today, tell him that his Master, Jesus, didn’t come to condemn him, but to save him from the love of trash.
PS. So what became of Theo and the trash? Look for part 2 soon. 🙂