A One-Eyed Squirrel Dog
After the mishap, we found him laying alone in a dark hay mow. Although it took place well over three decades ago - I still remember the instant my dad shined the light on his face. Through the darkness a single eye reflected back, and where the other eye should have been - blood glistened from an empty socket instead.
Indeed, by human standards he was handicapped. Furthermore, besides having an untraceable family tree, he was also given a rather bland name which was virtually void of creativity.
Nevertheless, he sure knew how to hunt! Yes, Rover, my one-eyed collie cross who lost his left eye after being hit by a car was quite a squirrel dog.
Now admittedly, for many,
the thought of fresh squirrel pie might not conjure up much of an appetite.
"After all," someone might ask, "isn't the squirrel really a member of
the rodent family?" Even so, in the hardwood covered hills where
I grew up, eating squirrel was much more than a treat or tradition, it
was a lifestyle. A good squirrel dog was truly appreciated and Rover
was a good squirrel dog.
Mick, my (now deceased) older teenage brother came to the conclusion that the key to Rover's hunting success had to do with his having only one eye. He figured having only one eye prevented him from being distracted by anything else. In hindsight, I think my brother was right. When it came to chasing squirrels, Rover knew how to focus.
The fact is we all focus on something. We either live for the glory, gusto, or gold of this world which is guaranteed to pass away or, as the apostle Paul explained to the Christians in Corinth, "...we fix eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen, is eternal" (2 Corinthians 4:18).
In the Bible, eyes are frequently viewed as instruments that either determine or reveal a person's true moral direction and character. No doubt about it, where our physical and spiritual eyes are focused can make all the difference. Jesus warned His listeners, "If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your body to be thrown into hell" (Matthew 5:29). And again, Jesus stated, "Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are good, your whole body is also full of light. But when they are bad, your body also is full of darkness" (Luke 11:34).
Yes, God holds us responsible for what we focus on. If a one-eyed dog named Rover can keep his focus when chasing squirrels - we should also have enough foresight to keep our eyes fixed on the Lord. As the writer of the book of Hebrews charged the Jewish believers of his day, "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God" (Hebrews 12:2).
Copyright ©1997, Dr. Tom C. Rakow (All Rights Reserved)