Harry the Dirty Dog, and Me

When you re-read a classic you do not see in the book more than you did before. You see more in you than there was before. ~Clifton Fadiman
 
 Even though troubles came down on me hard,

    your commands always gave me delight.
The way you tell me to live is always right;
    help me understand it so I can live to the fullest.

 
~ Psalm 119:143-144
 
     I read Harry the Dirty Dog  by Gene Zion as a part of a class with my second graders yesterday. The teacher was doing a writing class on “My Favorite Book” in the library.  She asked us (I participated as a student) to think of why our book has stood the test of time, why do we love it so.  
      If you do not know the story, it is a tale about a little dog who, rather than take a bath, buries the brush outside and goes on an adventure.  He starts out a white dog with black spots, and ends up a black dog with white spots as he reaps the benefits of his journey.
Harry tires of being “wild” when he looks in restaurant window and sees a family eating.  He remembers his family and runs home, but they do not recognize this black dog.  Harry unearths the brush and returns it to his waiting family, who, with typical 50’s innocence finally puts together who this dog really is.
     As I read this wonderful story again, I realized that I identified with Harry because, I was that little girl who could have a bath, put on fresh clothes and have a stain on them before I ever hit the street.  No matter what the occasion, a victory for me was getting through it without a mess on my clothes.  But I always knew I was loved, that I would be taken care of, forgiven, and read to sleep.
     I had never really considered this all before realizing that Harry was my “soulmate” character in the story.  Taking another step back, he is the prodigal, and who among us has not at least on some scale, experienced the feeling of wishing they could return home to where they were treated well, even if they did not get their way.
     Today, lift up the Harry’s in the world who wish they could come home, and would be welcomed if they did.  Lift them up also, who wished they could come home and the only home that will welcome them is not their own.  Pray that they all find their home in Jesus.
 
Lord, you are our Shepherd.  Thank you for supplying our every need.
My Shepherd Will Supply My Need
 
     Because of Him,
       Linda
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Filed under Poetry, Original Writing, Devotional, Inspirational, Uncategorized

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