21st February 2022

I’m writing this in the aftermath of Storm Eunice, following a day of being confined to the house with a very bewildered dog. As I kept a wary eye on the weather and the forecasts, Effi made best use of her puppy dog eyes in her pleas to be taken out for her usual walks. First she insisted on my opening the front door – from which she backed away in disgust as she saw the driving winds and pouring rain. Then, ever the optimist, she went to the back door, apparently in the belief that the weather might be different on that side of the house (I’m not submitting any applications for doggy Mensa yet!) Finally, as the winds continued to howl around the house, the perplexed creature resigned herself to a safe spot under my desk, where she kindly kept my feet warm for much of the day.

As a linguist, I find it deeply frustrating that I can’t communicate verbally with my dog beyond key words like ‘walk’ and ‘supper’ (she definitely knows those!) And there were moments on Friday that really tested my patience, as I tried to make it clear to her that I was trying to keep her safe. I found myself wondering if God gets as exasperated with me when I do the human equivalent of Effi’s behaviour, repeatedly testing out all kinds of unviable alternatives when He knows the bigger picture and what’s best for me. As we are battered by the literal and metaphorical storms of the moment, let’s try to trust and stay close to the God who cares for us.

Debbie Pinfold