Hoping You Get Slammed

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This is Chloe

I had a teary time with God this morning, all because of nothing. Just because of the wind, maybe. Or because of the sound of my friend’s dog’s toenails on the wood floor, or maybe because this dog kept coming into my office to see me–with one of her toys in her mouth. And the absurd preciousness of ordinary life came crashing through the dullness of me sitting in my chair trying to experience God while he was still trying to wake me up.

Forget your prayers, God said. Do you really see this dog?  

God knows that I feel a keen, extra tenderness toward Chloe simply because she belongs to my dear friend K, who tragically lost her husband not many months ago. K needed someone to watch her dog while she went away to tend her grief. She went off to a special place to be sad on purpose, you could say. Which is a beautiful and brave thing to do, if you ask me.

And so no wonder the sight of her sweet, large dog bringing me her toy baby makes me want to cry.

I wasn’t originally meant to dog-sit Chloe. I’m her fourth home after a series of other friends couldn’t keep her because she didn’t get along with their own dogs. For some reason, Chloe and Edmund get on great. Probably because Edmund is so inconsequential in bearing (sorry, Ed), Chloe doesn’t see him as a threat. She probably doesn’t even realize that he’s a dog. :)

It worked out how it was meant to, is what I’m saying. Caring for Chloe feels like a spiritual assignment of the highest order, an unexpected gift, like God showing up at my front door because I forgot he was already here.

Yesterday, I tried to write a helpful post, but it didn’t work out. The good news is that it didn’t bother me at all. I was trying to talk about the outrageous extent of God’s moment by moment compassion for us. But maybe you can’t explain such a thing in a way that makes it happen, you simply have to get slammed by the truth of it for yourself.

Kind of like what happened to me this  morning when God reminded me that life is perfect just as it is and he isn’t just with us, he’s in us and living through us. Which means he is having all the experiences we are having. Which means he isn’t watching us go through something, or helping us get through something, he is suffering or enjoying or bearing it with us every moment we live.

Which means God is somewhere in Tennessee today being sad on purpose.

Which means God is about to walk two dogs in the wild, whipping wind down an ordinary alley somewhere in Colorado.

Which means God is reading this post with you, hoping you get slammed. 

[As I return to blogging, I am hoping to be more casual and spontaneous about it. Sometimes, like today, I will write in Raw and then realize it should be shared with you all instead. I hope that's okay. Tell me if you see typos!]




  1. Thanks for this post. I need to get God-slammed in a big way today.

  2. I love how our pets (or someone else’s) can make us just STOP in our hussle bussel world and enjoy the moments of their silliness. I moved awhile back partly so I could have more pets (I now have kittens and sugar gliders). They bring me much joy. And sometimes while I am enjoying their antics I just get SLAMMED. What a good way to put it. I am so glad you are back and I have more typos than you so I wouldn’t worry about it, It is one reason I love your writings.

  3. I love that you called tending the dog a spiritual assignment. I feel that way about our dogs and cat for more reasons than I have time to explain. Beautifully expressed.

  4. Jim Nietopski says:

    Thank you for this. It struck close to home. My wife passed on 3/1/13, leaving me two wonderful happily married daughters and one clinically depressed German Shepherd – my wife and Kona were absolute soul mates. It’s been a long (now sober) road but we’re getting by. And hoping for better, brighter days. Thanks.

  5. The weekend my ex-wife remarried, one year after our divorce was final, I went away to be sad on purpose — to the town where we got married. I revisited the church building where our wedding had been, now a Hispanic church, where two sweet ladies who were cleaning the church and who didn’t speak much English were able to understand why I was there and graciously allowed me a few moments in the sanctuary and wished me well. I visited the college campus where we had met, including the specific room where we had met and other spots on campus where we had spent the most time. I even stayed in the hotel where we had spent the first night of our honeymoon. I had dinner with a friend who had been one of my groomsmen (and who thought I was maybe just a little bit crazy for what I was doing). I called it my closure tour. I wouldn’t say it was a cure, but I think it did help.

  6. I am new to your blogs…over in damp Southern England. This is realy “awakening” stuff and brings me right into the moment. Thank you for inspirational sober writng. As I have just found you, I didnt know you had stopped posting…but welcome back…and thank you!

  7. sweetheidi12345 says:

    I enjoy your blog- what a nice reminder that God is working through us.

  8. I miss your blogs . . . was so glad to read one today :-)

  9. Oh Sister, you say so much with so little. I love you.

  10. Love this. Thank you for sharing your “Raw” with us!

  11. Actually, whether my breath is baited or not, I am waiting for you to post and look for it in my facebook newsstream. A woman who is enjoying the grace of God as a real sinner always has a universe of things to say to me. So .. “Hello Heather, I’m listening !”
    And I couldn’t be more grateful when you speak.

  12. Tending to grief is a “brave and beautiful thing to do.” Even when it seems selfish, it’s important, beautiful, and brave. Oh, this is timely. My precious Dad was buried this week, and I am heartbroken.

    Deb Weaver

  13. “…a brave and beautiful thing to do…” I agree. What luxury to tend to your grief in a purposeful way. Chloe is beautiful, and looks very sweet. She is probably tending her own grief at missing her family, too.

  14. I love it that your post was just as you thought it . . . that’s how we so often operate. You are a beautiful writer and person. I am glad you have Chloe – God knew you’d learn something from her and pass it on to us! Thanks

  15. Oh, I really really love this post…….Thank you for this beauty and I pray for your dear friend dealing with such sadness.

  16. Good post Heather. It seems to be right in keeping with another book I am reading. (Reading for me is a way to do my devotions because I am to ADD to sit still and do nothing) It is titled, “Where is God when our loved ones get sick?” It is by the same author who wrote, “How to live like a fruit fly.” Anyway, the first half of the book is more or less random entries about his dad who recently died from cancer. The second half is amazing. It is more or less poetry and says things like, “God is in the here and now and the hell or high water.” God is in the feast and the famine. God is in the homeless and the high class.” (these are my examples, his are much better but I don’t have my Kindle handy) And so. Some of them move me very deeply and some I cannot see, yet. Maybe someday. But all of them call for us to see God here, now, always.

    Unfortunately, most days I have blinders on.

    • Nancy, love this. How to live like a fruit fly? So funny. But I just love the sound of this book you’re reading. …. So you’re the one who stole my blinders! Unfortunately, I’ll probably find another pair somewhere around here. Kidding aside, God in the here is the most we can have of God. We like to remind each other in recovery that you if you want to experience God, you won’t find him in yesterday or tomorrow, only right now, right here. xo

  17. Sharon b Shuman says:

    Thank you Heather. I can relate to your feelings. Life can be so sad,and I know God is with me through the hard times

  18. So perfect! “…he is suffering or enjoying or bearing it with us every moment we live”. Thanks you!

  19. Seeing Chloe with that toy in her mouth brought tears to my eyes. Sending a prayer up for K and thanking God for reading this post with me. Well said!

  20. Love, Love, LOVE this. You write so beautifully, Heather. Thank you.

  21. Thanks for another lovely post! I needed the reminder that God is with us in this new “normal” of having our addict son re-join us in our home, and it is good. Wiping away tears… Blessings to you, Heather :-)

  22. Marjie Douty says:

    yes, God is immanent.

  23. I have tried to be a “real blogger” and write a book at the same time, because that’s what they say you have to do. But I have found over and over again it’s just not worth it (for me) to write without inspiration. If “spontaneous” translates into “sporadic,” so be it. I break the biggest blogging rule. Good for you for writing under the inspiration. I’m happy to see any post of yours–no matter when or how they come. :)

    • So relate, Faith! I have to lower the bar and blog what’s on my mind if I’m going to sustain blogging. Hopefully, that doesn’t mean I’ll never write things that are helpful or that this will turn into a totally personal (self-absorbed) blog. I’m still trying to find balance. One thing I know for sure is that the world isn’t waiting with baited breath–as my ego would want to believe–for Heather’s next post. All that time off gave me a perspective I needed. I’m so glad you’re reading, Faith. I’ll have to drop you an email soon as I’m curious what you’ve been up to!

  24. “…he isn’t watching us go through something, or helping us through something, he is suffering or enjoying or bearing with us every moment we live.”
    Thank you so much for this, Heather! Totally brought tears to my eyes. Both the happy and sad kind.

  25. I did get slammed. And it did not feel lovely or precious. Until I remembered God is not a meanie and this will work out.

    • You make me smile, Charise. I’m sorry you got slammed, but not with compassion! I hope you experience some of God’s being with you in your slammedness. How’s that for a new word? Trust me, I feel slammed your way more often than I ever do this way I spoke of here. I hope everything is okay, friend. I’m here if you need an ear.

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