Part 17: The Biting Dog

Posted: Thursday, May 29th, 2014
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About Letters Never Sent Series

A collection of never-sent, personal responses to real people in Martha's life, profound events and little encounters alike.


I never got to know you before you killed us.

I came in like a puppy, dancing – open. Thinking you wonderful, glad to sit with you.

I wanted us to sing in harmony . . . to Him. I believed we heard the same music. But truly I did not know you. You had a scream in you, not a song.

I gave you my guileless heart. “Who is this dear person? A soul I like.” But you smacked me before I ever knew you.  There was a rank darkness in you, a stick in your hand I had not noticed, some angry cage I rattled by joy.

It’s clear. I did not know you.

Like some mean and weary mother dog, you growled and bit me. Your “bad-dog” scolding sent me reeling in a shame I didn’t merit and pains I didn’t earn.  The puppy runs to hide from you and would cower under the porch.

You aimed your blows to hurt the softest spots. You are a skillful biter, not new at it. Who hit you that you so little mind striking me? And those around me . . .

I am beginning to know you.

And though I say, “who are you?” I ask in the shocking knowledge you gave me of your sick soul. I know you now because you told me.

But by the gentle grace of my Real Owner, under the love of that caressing hand, I hear His dire thoughts and ruling purpose so . . . I am willing still to know you.

Who beat you when you were a happy pup?
And what unlicked wound do you still carry?

I ask my Good Master to capture you into His lap, pet your poison heart and tame you until you lick His hand with puppy-love.

Copyright © 2002 Martha Kilpatrick, Letters Never Sent

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