My brother’s got a dog. Actually he’s got two dogs right now. He’s had as many as three at a time. One of his current dogs is a pit bull named “Mugsy.” Mugsy has compiled a reputation of infamy. The dog flat out scares me – and I love dogs. This one has attacked and bloodied other dogs on two different occasions in a local dog-walking park. Needless to say, he’s been banned from that. On another occasion he killed the neighbor’s cat. He even went after me once, grabbing my pant leg and growling because, apparently, I got up too quickly from a chair near him. The most recent entry on his rap sheet was his biting of my brother’s hand severing the flexor tendon of his pinky finger and requiring a visit to the ER for stitches. That was the last straw for me. Now I refuse to go into my brother’s house unless Mugsy is outside. He scares me!
Now the reason I’m writing to You about this is because this whole story got me to thinking about forgiveness. My brother forgives that dog everything he does. He defends him and makes excuses for him. His attachment to him seems unconditional. I can’t do that! If Mugsy was a person I’d want to stay far away from him. I think if he was a person, my brother would avoid him too; but for Mugsy, the dog, his forgiveness and love are boundless.
In a way, it’s like Your love and forgiveness of us no mater how evil, nasty, and repulsive we may be. Yet I cannot help but thinking that the key (even to unconditional forgiveness) is remorse. My brother might imagine that Mugsy’s sad eyes express remorse – but I’m not so sure. I’d want to hear from him that he’s sorry and will try harder. I’ll wait for that!