I believe we used the term "Gully Washer" when I was growing up.
But it's good. We need it.
And we need it to stop for a while, too.
So I've learned that my precious little puppies apparently don't much care for the rain.
Forget the fact that ONE of them is a freaking duck dog and is BRED to swim and LOVES to swim and WON'T GET OUT OF THE LAKE/POOL/POND/WATER when he has an opportunity to swim.
They don't, it seems, like water that comes from the sky.
When we let them out,
They only went as far as my special quiet clean and only-for-me peaceful screened in porch.
And did what dogs doo.
And this morning as I was
I spied it.
And as I
I closed the porch door (oh-so gently) and walked to the garage and got in my car.
Then, as we
"Did any of y'all see what the dogs did on the porch?"
"I said, did any of y'all notice the mess on the porch?"
"Ummmm....when you went outside to water the dogs and play with them....."
and here my voice got an octave lower and a little more quiet...
"Did. Any. Of. Y'all. Notice. What. The. Dogs. Did?"
Silence accompanied by three nodding heads visible in the rearview mirror.
Ok. Different tactic.
"Why didn't you clean it up?"
Well THEN the proverbial floodgates opened.
"I knew we would be late for tennis!"
"I had to brush and floss my teeth!"
"I didn't like the smell out there!"
"I don't know how!"
"I had to go to the bathroom!"
"I thought we were leaving!"
"I didn't know it was my job!"
"I had to write a 750 word essay on bunions!"
Bucket load of lame excuses.
Actually.....the bunion one was kind of original.
Here's the deal.
Nowhere in any of their lists of chores does it specify:
Clean up the back porch if and when one of the blasted fur balls defiles it.
Nor have I ever told any of my children,
"If you walk out onto the porch and see a pile of doggy sunshine... then clean it."
Should I HAVE to spell that out?
My kids are relatively darn clever!
They make good grades and seem to function pretty well in this world!
Our house might not be pristine....
But I am SURE they know that what was happenin' on that porch was not ok!!
Technically....they didn't break any rules or disobey me.
But when they saw something "not ok".....
They did nothing.
They didn't even tell me about it.
(Probably for fear of having to help clean it. Told you they were clever.)
If I asked them (which I did!) whether or not they think they should have told me....
or cleaned it up themselves....
They would have said yes.
See....they know it would have been the right thing to do.
Instead....they did nothing.
They didn't really "commit" any wrong.....
But they certainly "omitted" doing something right.
Don't I get it.
A few thousand years ago a guy named James taught that
"To him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin."
If we know how to do something to improve a situation.....
and we chose to NOT do it....
It's not ok.
It's not good.
And we might pretend (as one of my a-hem...angels did for a moment)
that we don't notice something bad going on.
We switch the channel.
We change the subject.
We step over the pile.
We tsk-tsk and quickly "forget".
When you know....
You can't unlearn something that you have just been exposed to....
no matter how desperately you may want to.
Proverbs, in its wonderful simple direct kind of way, says:
If you say, "Surely we did not know this,"
Does not He who weighs the hearts consider it?
He who keeps your soul, does He not know it?
And will He not render to each man according to his deeds?
Here's what I figure.
If our eyes are opened to something.....
It's for a reason.
And I am pretty sure that the reason is not so that we can avoid dirtying our shoes by stepping over and avoiding an unpleasant mess.
(Although there are certain piles on back porches that should definitely be stepped over!)
We can't save the world.
We can do one good thing.
Helen Keller once said:
I am only one, but still I am one.
I cannot do everything, but still I can do something;
And because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do something I can do.
And I know we've all heard the story about the starfish on the beach.
So the news comes on and there's a story about the hundreds of thousands of kids dying from treatable diseases and starvation in a country far far away.
Say you don't turn the channel.
Say you watch and you take it all in.
Say you feel the hope....the wish....that things were different.
That's a first step, I think.
Your eyes are open....and you've acknowledged that there is a yucky situation.
God showed you something.....for a reason.
What is it?
What should you do?
I have no idea.
But He does.
He put this in your lap for a reason.
He knows the role you're supposed to play.
Is it a donation?
Is it an adoption?
Is it mentioning to someone else who can do something?
Is it prayer?
We all have roles God wants us to play.
But if we close our eyes to the situation.....
I guarantee you....
we won't find them.
My pastor talked about the sin of commission vs the sin of omission.
We are responsible for trying to right the wrongs.
Yeah, we are.
Even if it makes us uncomfortable.
Or late for tennis.
Or unable to complete our essay on bunions.
I'd like to tell you that my kids all marched back into the house and cleaned up the mess.
I took them on to tennis camp and came home to deal with it myself.
But I tell you this.
They will get a cleaning lesson later.
And they will have to walk the dogs EVEN IN THE RAIN.
And they will be in charge if another mess occurs.
And if they try to pretend that they don't see it....
My supply of gloves and thick paper towels might disappear
forcing them to use kleenex and bare hands.
It could happen.