As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. -- Isaiah 55:10-11

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A Little Mongrel Dog--Brave and Courageous

When I was in high school, we read this story by Faulkner. I didn't care for Faulkner. I got lost in his imagery and one-sentence chapters. However, I found myself drawn into this book. My mother was a UKC (United Kennel Club) judge. My father had been a hunter. My family raised Walker Coonhounds. Magnificent creatures. My heart still skips and my breath still catches when I see one. I understood the art of hunting. I understood the boy in Faulkner's short story.

When I reached the quote below, I sobbed. Perhaps it was because I have seen the fierce competition born of fear and pride that erupts between two animals. I have felt the helplessness of watching competitions that were not intended but could not be stopped. Perhaps it was the memory of animals lost to injury and old age.

More likely, it is because I understood the heart of the dog--not belonging, being too small and insignificant for anyone to recognize my impact, having my bravery called noise.

This morning as I asked the Lord about a new name for my blog, He brought this quote to mind. As I read it, again I cried for all those who understand the heart of the dog. To you I say, Be courageous. People may call it noise, but it doesn't make you less brave.

"...And a little mongrel dog showed him that, by possessing one thing
other, he would possess them both (humility and pride); and a little dog,
nameless and mongrel and many-fathered, grown yet weighing less than six pounds,
who couldn't be dangerous because there was nothing anywhere much smaller, not
fierce because that would have been called just noise, not humble because it was
already too near the ground to genuflect, and not proud because it would not
have been close enough for anyone to discern what was casting that shadow, and
which didn't even know it was not going to heaven since they had already decided
it had no immortal soul, so that all it could be was brave even though they
would probably call that too just noise."

--"The Bear", William Faulkner


Robin said...

Looking forward to being inspired by your new blog :) Did you officially quit using the other one?

Jerri Phillips said...

I don't know. :-) On one hand, I hate to just abandon it. On the other, I don't keep going back to our old apartment and hanging out. I don't live there anymore.

I think ultimately, I will end up leaving it. However, I don't want to take it down. What I have been considering is a larger website. I actually have the domain, as you know. I think I would like to take some of my favorite writings and put those in one section, have a section for family time to encourage families to connect, a scripture study area where I post some of the things I've studied, a more personal friend-to-friend type area, and a warrior area. I think everyone I know is all of the above at different times.

However, I don't know how to do a website, and I honestly don't know that I want to take time to learn. I have the software for it, but one of the reasons I no longer actively post to Jerri's Munchies is Iona, who did the beautiful creative work, no longer does website work, and my husband really doesn't have time to be active with it.

I'm praying. I don't really want 4 or 5 blogs, one for each aspect of my life, but that may be what happens.

Oh, and the odd thing was with this post, I really thought it was on the Ponderings blog. I went to Ponderings and couldn't find it. I panicked, and then on my dashboard I saw that this site had a post. Perhaps that was God's push out of the nest.

Linda said...

Jerri, I loved this. You made me want to read the entire work.

Jan Parrish said...

:)Be Bold and be you! Yes. I like it.

Jerri Phillips said...

My first though: Oh, Linda, don't do that.


Have you ever read Faulkner? I have found people either love him or not. Personally, I find his psychological descriptions incredible, BUT you have to do a lot of wading. I remember reading one story where a whole page was one long sentence. Still, I liked Steinbeck--even as dismal as he was--because of his view into the characters' minds. Faulkner's is better, in my opinion.