He came into my life at the beginning of the most tumultuous moment I’ve ever experienced. Baby Girl was off to college, albeit not far away. Boomerang Child had moved out, yet again. Husband was spending more and more time at work, in Houston. I was by myself. And then The Boyfriend brought THEM! (Baby Girl’s boyfriend—not mine) Three tiny, wormy boy puppies that he thought were dachshunds—because he knew I have a soft heart for weenie dogs. Baby Girl named the chunky one with a Mohawk—Brody. It fit, so it stuck.
A few months later we had to sell the house and move. I was down to three dogs—Ancient Dachshund, Charley, and Brody–and prayed for wisdom for what to do about it. Without going into details that still leave me in tears, let me just say, all that’s left of all those particular animals is Brody—who in my boredom I named “Brody the Magnificent.”
Brody is not only an old soul; he is a gentle one. Husband says that’s why I love him so. Brody, not Husband. Maybe he’s right. But seriously, the only time you even know Brody is in the house is when he wants to go out of the house. He sits as close to me all day every day as Babs, Boomerang Child’s doxie we are caring for because she chews Jimmy Choos, will allow. Babs is very demanding and wants all my attention. When Brody wants to be pet, he gently pats my “paw” with his. Over and over. And over. When he wants to play, he softly snaps at my nose as if he will gently tear it from my face. He never barked until Babs moved in, so now he barks at the school bus, the mail man, the FedEx man, the yard sprayer, geese flying over, and Husband home from work. As I’m writing this, though, Babs is under the covers on my bed, giving it her distinctive doxie Frito smell, and Brody is lying on a chair in front of our pretend fireplace. He thinks it’s getting him warm.
Why do I belabor the wonderfulness of Brody the Magnificent? Because, to me, he embodies this week’s Fruit of the Spirit—Gentleness. He never bothers you unless he wants to sit by you or there’s no food or water in his bowls. He just is. He’s not slow. He’s not a coward. He is gentle! And yes, that’ probably why I love him so.
I don’t think I’ve ever known an actual person who is as gentle as Brody the Magnificent, and if I did, he or she was very old, or maybe comatose. What can we, as seekers of FOS (Fruits of the Spirit), learn from this? Maybe to just be. Always be there when someone is homesick. Be compassionate when you think someone is crazy. Be quiet when the mailman comes to your door. To be Gentle might mean to just be.