The Scout story

I promised to tell y’all how Scout helped heal me the other day. Here’s the story:

I’d been fighting a rather persistent (and miserable) claim of a cold for several days. I’d tried to work through it myself, but I felt as if I were walking around in a fog, and I just couldn’t seem to think clearly enough to pray effectively. By the time I got home from work each night, I felt so exhausted that I just wanted to go to bed and stay there.

I finally gave up trying to handle the problem on my own and called a practitioner for help. He worked with me for a couple of days, but the symptoms just didn’t seem to want to let go.

As I was talking with the practitioner one afternoon, I got to thinking about something funny that Scout used to do at our old house.

Scout is a smart little dog, and she has a long memory. For years, Scout would come into the living room, sit in front of the couch and stare intently. Sometimes she would lie on her side and stick her paws under the couch, as if she were trying to reach something; other times, she would stand up on her hind legs, smack me with her front paws to get my attention, and then sit in front of me and cry, as if to say, “Mom! I’ve lost something, and I can’t reach it! Aren’t you going to get it for me?”

She would do this every time she thought of it, which was about twice a day. No matter how many times I tried to distract her with a treat, a toy, a walk, or a special meal, she would always come back to the couch and fuss over whatever it was that she thought she’d lost.

I’d gotten down on my hands and knees and peered under the couch many times, trying to figure out what she was crying about, but I never could see anything. I finally decided that she must have fallen in love with a dust bunny or something, because there certainly didn’t seem to be anything else under that couch.

Three years later, we donated the couch to a nonprofit group. When the guys from this charity came and picked it up, I discovered that one of Scout’s racquetballs had rolled underneath it and gotten stuck in a shadowy spot where I couldn’t see it.

For three years — amid all sorts of distractions, and after receiving all sorts of new toys and treats — Scout had remembered that there was something good under the couch and that it belonged to her. She wasn’t about to forget it or give up on it. It was hers, and she wanted it.

Eventually, her persistence paid off. As soon as the guys from the charity left with the couch, I let Scout into the living room, where she joyfully picked up her long-lost ball and ran off to play with it. I’ve never seen such a look of delight on her face before or since.

And why shouldn’t she rejoice? Like the woman in the Bible who searched diligently for her missing piece of silver, Scout had finally gotten hold of the goodness that she knew was hers all along.

It struck me, as I thought about it, that I could learn something from Scout. I know that qualities such as health, happiness, and success come from God. They are gifts, and I am entitled to enjoy them. Sometimes they seem to have rolled under the couch where I can’t reach them, but they’re still there, and eventually, I know my prayerful work will bring me to that joyful moment when divine Truth lifts away whatever seems to be sitting between me and the goodness I know is mine.

That realization was the turning point. From that moment, the unpleasant symptoms began to fade, and my health began to improve steadily and rapidly. “Patience must have her perfect work,” Mrs. Eddy says, and she’s right. It just took a persistent little rat terrier to remind me of that.

I found one of Scout’s racquetballs in the yard today while I was planting some flowers. I think maybe we’ll have a game of fetch tomorrow.

Emily

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