Tuesday, June 11, 2013

God is gross

Honeysuckle wool
This gives you an idea of how long her wool can get.

When Honeysuckle's principal owner, Anita, is gone, seeing to her health and well-being as a pet falls on me, though Denis is good to bring her dandelions in summer and kale in winter. As we all know, sometimes our pets purposely do things that are disgusting - I'm thinking about how our dog used to find things to eat on the boulevard during walks; things I don't even want to know what they were; things I could't stop him from gulping down however quickly I jerked back on his leash and yelled NOOOO. Or, and this is true of any animal we may be responsible for husbanding, like cows or goats, …. or it may not be anything they can't help, like musky glands or baby lambs stuck in birth canals. Or even the normal digging, biting power cords, chewing one's home to bits.

Anyway, I was thinking about things like this as I had Honeysuckle positioned upside down on my lap because her long wool sometimes needs to be trimmed away from certain parts of her anatomy - she had a buildup of matted and clotted fecal matter that needed to be carefully and meticulously cut away. She lay patiently on my lap as I snipped away and thought what a nasty mess this was. But as usual, I couldn't help thinking about the deeper meanings our encounters hold for us if we think about them for more than two seconds. How good I felt helping this innocent animal with something she couldn't do herself. Although it was stinky, it felt right and proper and grace-giving - like in that moment I was doing exactly what God told us to do when he blessed our Mother and Father in the garden and sent them out to take care of the earth.

Then as I was reading and reading and reading, because it is such a looooong book that requires eating in small bites, The Letters of C.S. Lewis to Arthur Greeves, I came across a letter on the very topic of how we can be repulsed by the natural consequences of being a natural beast, and thought how clever I might have been to be able to scold C.S. Lewis for his scruples.

"Physical disgust is a sensation which I have very often and of which I am always ashamed. If one lets it grow upon one it will in the end cut one out from all delighted participation in the life of nature. For God is gross and never heard of decency and cares nothing for refinement: nor do children, nor most women, nor any of the beasts nor mien either except in certain sophisticated classes. And yet it's hard to feel that the faculty of disgust is a sheer evil from beginning town. I don't know what to make of it." (#146, p. 371)
I couldn't agree more. 
Honeysuckle on lap
Do even part-time owners look like their pet? Here we are getting ready for a clipping.


Hannah said...

"I could help thinking about the deeper meanings our encounters hold for us if we think about them for more than two seconds. "

That's what I like about your writing - the considering of regular things for more than two seconds and finding grace there.

Lvo said...

I just love this. Just sayin'.
Glad you are my friend, Marge.

Sandy said...

When we lived in China, we would often see (and hear) men spitting great gobs of spit and phlegm. It really took some getting used to. When we read the story of Jesus healing the blind man with spit, I don't think we realize how gross that was...and beautiful. CS Lewis is right!

liz | carpe season said...

I'm with Hannah. There is so much eternity in each instance of our everyday.
Thanks for sharing your gross moment...now if you can help me see the "truth" in my son's dirty diapers, I'd be much obliged :)

Cranberry Morning said...

Isn't C.S. Lewis always right?
Anyway, I just found you through Amazon. I'm reading 'The Exact Place' on my Kindle and have to be careful not to laugh out loud when I'm reading in the middle of the night. You were born 9 months before I was, and your account of childhood, growing up on a farm in the north, brings back such fun and terrifying memories. :-)