Drew ran into the house, yelling about Danny having an animal in his mouth. Assuming it was a squirrel, I walked outside to see. My heart sank when I saw bright white fur with black spots. I had a baaaaad feeling.
I ducked inside, told Drew to stay in, and sprinted across the house to the garage. I skidded to a stop at the sight of the other guinea pig...Gracie's baby... grotesquely laid out on the concrete floor. Oh. My. Word. The garage door had been left open. They had only been out there for two weeks, an attempt to have one less mess in the house. (And boy, are they messy little critters!). He had managed to pry the bottom away from the cage and was happily trotting across the yard with his bounty when Drew spotted him.
I called my hubby who was thankfully on his way home and begged him to "take care of them" before Gracie saw them. I then brought her alone into my bedroom and broke the news. Her sweet face crumpled and she burst into tears.
It broke my heart.
I reassured her that, to Danny, they were just like squirrels and that he didn't understand that they were special to her. I held her as she wept. We then buried her piggies in a blue Reebok shoebox along with a precious picture she drew for them and covered the grave with wildflowers.
"Mama, I think God let this happen now so we would have flowers," she whispered as she plucked tiny white blossoms.
We said our goodbyes and went inside. She seemed ok until a few minutes ago. I was on the phone with a friend and I saw her eyes, red and puffy. I got off the phone. "Honey, do you need to cry?"
"I already have been. In my room."
"I don't want you to cry alone. If you feel sad just come find me, ok?"
She curled up in my lap and I held her hard, lips against her hair. We talked about death. We talked about Heaven, and the people we know who await us there. We talked about how God will someday wipe every tear away and how, even now, He gives us joy even when things are hard. Just like Corrie ten Boom.
Gracie gasped. "Mom! I just thought of something! THAT is why God made you read that story to us, so that you could tell me about it now! That is so cool!"
"You are right! God always prepares us for whatever is coming. He never leaves us alone, and He catches every one of your tears in the palm of His hand."
I am so proud of my girl with the sensitive heart. I am so proud that she chooses to see God's provision and trust that He is good when bad things happen.
And I am so thankful that she was listening when I read The Hiding Place. In her little girl world, adorable guinea pigs murdered by your beloved, gentle German Shepherd is about as traumatic and confusing as it gets. If God can give Corrie joy in a concentration camp, then my sweet girl believes He can do the same for her heart that hurts tonight.
And Danny? Well, he is in the doghouse...pardon the pun. It may take a while for him to get rubbed in his sweet spot by miss Gracie again. She is a bit angry, and understandably so:)