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Brokenness and the Image of God

When our first dog died, an adorable white schnauzer named Mooch, there was a gaping hole in our hearts. If you have lost a beloved pet you understand. They become companions. Literally, we break bread with them as we eat our dinner!

This painful emptiness consumed us and before we were ready, before there was an appropriate amount of time to process our grief we rescued two more schnauzers. They were both black. Jack was 12 years old when we got him and Joanie was, well we don’t really know. She had lived on the streets, had heart problems and was getting up there in age too. Jack was a sophisticated older gentleman who had lived his entire life with one loyal friend. When that man died Jack went to an agency and then to us. We had Jack for almost two good years. He, like Mooch died in my arms in the same room and in the same chair.

Once again, we felt the hole in our hearts and the harried sense to adopt again. This time we rescued this little white 1 1/12-year-old white schnauzer named Pippi. She had been abused by men in a puppy mill. As soon as she arrived she bonded with my wife, Kris and was scared of me.

It has been three years now and Pippy has gotten over much but not all of her fear of me. When Kris is around she is much more comfortable and relaxed. She will come and sit on my lap to be petted and scratched for, oh about 15 minutes and then right back to Kris.

I wonder sometimes just how long it will take, if ever, that she will “be healed” or “get beyond” what happened to her at such a tender age…

Pets, the rings of a tree, a rainbow, a true friend – all of creation has the potential to be such a deep reflection at times. Pippy is a living mirror to and for me more than I’m willing to concede. “How long will the behavioral patterns stemming from wounds inflicted so long ago continue to live in my living? A few more years? Can my friend Kay bring me the healing balm of a masterful psychologist in less time? Is there an APP for this long – ago woundedness?

I am attracted to the belief, the theology of “we are created in the image of God and NOTHING can destroy that!” I dig it. A lot. I embrace it every day of my life.

I’ve worked the steps because of my stuff and worked them again because of someone else’s stuff which became my stuff. Sheesh…And you know I embrace that I Scott Jenkins AM created in the image of God. I also embrace that this image is adorned in brokenness. There are tears in the fabric and they still bleed from time to time. There are cracks in the container and all kinds of stuff leaks out…

Life is not to be broken OR to be whole. It is the acceptance of both, giving deep thanksgiving for both, and working on or from both that is the Telos the journey – destination for both. I wouldn’t be who I am today if it wasn’t for both.

Love God, your neighbor, and yourself…it will take ya a life time. Did you have something better to do today? You are the beloved of God!

Fr. Scott Jenkins is a Co-Founder and Creative Director of Celtic Way.

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