So we got a Covid puppy. What were we thinking? The same thing that everyone else was thinking. This pandemic makes us do crazy things. Like go hiking. Arrange Zoom calls with long-distance family members. Grow vegetables. Adopt shelter dogs.
The throes of the pandemic forced many of us to pursue wildly outside-our-post-modern-box activities. But, many of these activities were also more sustainable, life-giving, and cultivating of relationships.
But then there’s our Covid Canine. This puppy, now aged 25 months, is some mix of mutts that roamed South-Central Indiana. Should anyone dare to ask why her ears appear to make up 25% of her body weight, we’ve come up with a compromise to articulate her dubious heritage, by saying that she’s a “mutant Chihuahua.”
This beast (whom we dubbed “Blossom”—it’s a long story) has likewise compelled us to do things we might not normally do. We have re-installed baby gates no longer needed by our preschooler and toddler…to prevent our 38 lb chocolate-colored Chihuahua from hunting the children’s breakfast. We have started rooting for the squirrel who lives in our back yard (because, speaking of breakfast, the squirrel has nearly become a meal more than once). We have taken to going on “puppy patrol” to ensure that Blossom does, indeed, “do her business” when she goes outside, rather than jump our fence with an effortless vertical leap.
It was on one such recent evening of puppy-watching, as our canine slowly ambled about our back lawn, that my eyes strayed from my mutt to the evening air she’d compelled me to enjoy. Beginning to consider how pleasant the temperature was, I looked up at the sky. There, hanging brightly, was a nearly-full moon. It was beautiful. I thought, with sudden compunction…here is yet another thing I don’t take time to do: look up, and see the sky.
The brightness of the moon is somewhat startling, because, in this light-smeared city in the center of my state, we see almost no stars. Only the brightest and biggest celestial objects have the luminosity to cut through the refracted confusion streaming from streetlights and apartment complexes.
As I continued to ignore my puppy and stare into space, I thought, with a conviction as if I’d been there at the beginning: “God put this in the sky so we would not be afraid.” We have the sun to govern the day, but the moon to govern the night. Both these great lights separate the day from night, mark the seasons, the days, and the years, and illuminate the earth. Even through veils which cloud our vision in the darkness–this moon still illuminates the earth. And God says that we are good.
Covid has done many things to our world—but one result that I’ve felt, at least at present, is that the effects of Covid have shocked me into looking at the realities around me with eyes that see. I’m being invited to re-evaluate what I value, what chocolate-colored mutant Chihuahuas I care for, and to be humbled by God’s creation. The world around us is certainly mundane—as normal as a light hung by God in the dome of the sky. But, even with so much confusion crowding our vision and strangling our hearts, this lunar light still shines. God does not want us to fear. This world is God’s. And it is still good.