April 22, 2019
I love dogs and I recently had a funny but sobering dream about one. In the dream, I saw a German Shepherd named Caesar lying on the ground. I ran excitedly towards him and began to pet him, digging lightly into his gorgeous thick coat. “C’mon Caesar!” “Let’s go Caesar!” I said playfully, expecting him to get up and start running. Caesar did not move. I roughed him up a little, “c’mon Caesar!” He did not move. He just lay there, eyes wide open, looking healthy but bored, even lifeless. A young lady who was standing nearby told me she had just given him some herbal tea to “help him feel better.” I stood there rather puzzled.
When I woke up, I couldn’t help but laugh, especially at the tea drinking bit. But then I also saw the absurdity of it all. Here was an incredibly capable and, by all indications, healthy dog that had stopped being its extraordinary self because of something that was going on in its head. Its name, Caesar, with all its implications was not accidental. It made me try to imagine the great emperors of ancient Rome lying about, sullen in bed. In Caesar’s (the dog) situation, I saw a portrait of just how distorting and debilitating discouragement and depression can be. They immobilize us, render the abilities of even the most capable among us useless, and steal our lives. Getting out of that wretched state begins with simply moving.
“The LORD said to Samuel, How long will you mourn …fill your horn with oil and be on your way…” 1 Sam. 16:1