Bitterness is Like a Chili Dog

I was looking for a quote the other day for a client's blog when I came across this quote by Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness." 

Read it again slowly. It has more meaning that way. 

Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness.

Never, not ever, not on any day, in any moment, for even a second, should you allow yourself to give in to the call of bitterness; for she does, indeed, call out to you. She wants you. She seduces you to come to her side. But Bitterness is a liar and a cruel mistress.

Never succumb, nor give in, nor release yourself to, nor shackle yourself to Bitterness. She is cunning, and her chains are heavy and binding.

Never succumb to the temptation. Oh how easy it is to give way to the temptation. To allow yourself that short moment to justify your anger, to rationalize your hurt. 

How sweet the scent of Bitterness as she presses in, whispering seductively, "You deserve to be mad. No one has the right to treat you that way." 

Never succumb to the temptation of Bitterness. For once you have opened the door to her, she will not soon leave.

All that to say, bitterness is like a chili dog, it tastes good going down, but the lingering effects aren't good for you or anyone around you. 

(I thought I'd end sounding more like Carol Jones and less like Henry Ward Beecher.)

A Dog in the Gap?

I love this picture of Doug and Becky,
because when I think of them I just
DO NOT think of them hand-holding in
a rain storm. :)

I have been friends with Doug and Becky Jackson for a lot of years, over twenty years as a matter of fact. We met when Doug came to interview for a position as the Sr. Pastor at our church in Corpus Christi, and as I recall it, Becky and I were fast friends.  (Of course, I'm old and I could have my details completely wrong.  Maybe she just "grew" to love me. . . I'm like that . . . I grow on people.)

We have traversed many things together as friends, and I feel like I know a pretty good bit about these two people.  (I guess if you know someone for 20+ years, you SHOULD know a lot about them though). 

It’s funny, but of all the things I know about them, I would have NEVER pegged Doug Jackson as a dog person.  In fact, I might have said he had a bit of disdain for people who “needed” a dog in their life, so it’s funnier still that he now has a book called, "Dog in the Gap" (which is doing quite nicely on Amazon I might add!)

Doug and Landry with "Joey" as a puppy.

I remember when they got their dog, Joey, and Doug’s GRAND hesitation over the acquisition of said animal.  He felt certain that this pet purchase (which was to be a present for his son) would inevitably become his responsibility . . . a prediction that proved to be true, of course. (Any parent knows that’s how it goes.)

I also well remember the day that Becky called me to tell me that Doug was in a funk (to put it mildly) because Joey had died (several months earlier) and the apartments where they lived would not allow them to get another dog.

I love the look of mutual affection they each have!

Becky and Doug with Spurgeon

I won’t give away the whole story, but after Joey’s death (and their inability to have another pet) Doug began to volunteer at the local dog shelter, where he met Spurgeon, his SIZEABLE new friend, and where he began to formulate observations about man’s relationship with beast, and man’s relationship with God.

Doug and his co-author, Lisa Colon DeLay, each tell the story of their dogs, Spurgeon (a giant bullmastiff) and Luna (a beloved chocolate lab) beautifully weaving their stories of their pets into a deeper understanding of their relationship with the Creator of the universe.

What is most beautiful about 
Dog in the Gap is how it “probes questions about trust, mutuality, ownership, personal and spiritual growth, grief and joy through the acute lens of canine care-taking and guardianship.”

I believe Doug says it best in his introduction, “Man with dog,” writes C.S. Lewis in The Four Loves, “closes a gap in the universe.”  This book is written from inside the gap.

Written from inside the gap.  I love that.

All that to say, I can’t remember the last time I did a book review . . . but maybe I’ll do them more often.  In the meantime, go, read, enjoy.  And hey, do me a favor and leave them a review.  We authors really enjoy it when people tell us what they think of our writing. (wink)