Fight Like A Man, You Dirty Dog!

Just a note before I begin, to those who have now subscribed, many, many thanks. I would still like some feedback on my about page and my speaking page, but I’ll try to be content to wait.

In the meantime, the battle still rages…

When we were children, my Uncle David’s son, Scott was tough as nails. I haven’t seen Scott much over the past 25 years or so, but from what I know, tough still describes the guy who travels the world looking for new and better places to surf.

Once in a neighborhood scuff up, cousin Scott knocked another kid down and was heard to say as he stood over him, “get up and fight like a man, you dirty dog!”

At least that’s how the story goes…

In some ways, I am torn between two positions. On the one hand, I think a fair fight is one that you win, doing whatever you had to do to win it.

And then on the other hand, I have a strong sense of justice and fair play. People that do not play by the rules drive me nuts. (To be completely fair, I also like to make the rules fit my needs, wants, and wishes–I know I am not alone in this, am I?)

But when people tear you down by rumor and innuendo and you can’t say or do anything to defend yourself; I want to say get up and fight like a man, you dirty dog!

When you get blind-sided or stabbed in the back (meaning there is nothing you can do to be prepared), I want to say get up and fight like a man, you dirty dog!

And the reality is, in this dog eat dog world, dirty dogs can be found for a whole lot less than a dime a dozen.

Don’t get me wrong.

I am not so jaded or damaged to fail to see there are plenty of kind people who would never seek to hurt either of us.

To be sure I have been wounded. In some respects I wonder if the damage will ever completely heal. In fact, what happened to us is so strange, bizarre, and out there, it still sometimes defies belief.

I am a little more guarded than I used to be–which wasn’t much at all. I still question at times whether I am being used in certain situations or if people really, truly do have my best interests at heart.

But, my natural inclination to trust people is still pretty much intact. I just don’t quite run with it as easily as I might have before.

However, Dirty Dogs Do Exist!

Too often we never know their true character or nature until the dog has bitten a big chuck out of our backside. People don’t always fight fair. Justice isn’t always pervasive.

In fact, from my perspective, justice is a nice sounding platitude that often fails to live up to its billing.

One if the hardest lessons to ever learn is life isn’t always fair.
Or just.

So.

What do you do about dirty dogs?

Don’t look at me for the answer, I am asking you…

Seriously.

How do you handle the dirty dogs in your life?

Me? I wish I could identify them beforehand so I could emulate the Old Testament God of smiting thine enemies. I’d like to change the words of Jesus and do unto others before they do unto you. And turn the other cheek? Oh, yeah. That’s not exactly the attitude I’d like to take.

Not by a long shot.

No Sir.
No Ma’am.

Being a powerless victim is not the game I ever intend to play again. At the same time, I also understand I don’t always get to choose. And neither do you.

Stinks, doesn’t it?

In the meantime, what some may consider sacrilege, I consider part of my wrestling and fighting with God. I hope you’ll forgive and at least try to understand what I and others sometimes wonder about…

What do you do when it feels like you have given God everything and there is no divine protection in it?

If the Creator of the Universe doesn’t fight fair, what recourse do we have?

I get that we live in a broken world and bad things happen to good people.
I get it.
I hate it.
And I certainly don’t understand it.

But what do you do when it feels like the dirty dog is God?

32 thoughts on “Fight Like A Man, You Dirty Dog!

  1. I had to give myself time. When my dad was killed in automobile accidnet due to a careless drive, I wandered WHY MY DAD? I have yet to understand.

  2. I really don’t think God expects us to “fight fair.” In fact, it seems that God is willing to respond to those that are willing to complain and argue. Abraham, Moses, Gideon, Elijah, the prophets (major and minor), and so forth all came to God with specious and minor arguments. I think the one thing that these people had in common was their belief that they had the right to bring their problems before the throne.

    I have been studying attachment theory, as of late. It seems that attachment can be characterized as the willingness to tell the truth in the way that you have experienced it. If a person wants to build a close relationship with another, there must not be falsehood in it. In this way, it seems to me, Les, you must continue to tell God where you think his shortcomings are. I think the core of a real and intimate relationship is being with someone who can handle your “truth.”

  3. I can’t help but think of Jesus’ words in Matt 10 “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves”. I don’t see it as jaded to be on your guard, which is the next sentence.

    As for the question about God, I had a conversation with my 8 year old the other day. The gist of the conversation focused on our being like God but not at the same time. God has tried to reveal Himself as best He can in our limited minds. God is not fair. I certainly try to tell Him how to do it sometimes. I just hope I’m doing it from the right motives like Abraham arguing with God for Sodom. Or Moses talking God out of destroying His rebellious children in the wilderness. I think we are in good company asking God questions if you think of the people in Rev. 6 asking “How long” kinda questions. All the wrestling, it is being real. I just have to evaluate if I’m the “dirty dog”. Sometimes I have to answer the how long question. Just my reality.

  4. Is the dirty dog God or Satan? I guess I see the dogs that attacked you and your family, and many of us in other ways, to be the instruments of Satan. With the prince of evil as their master, yeah, they fight dirty. Why does God allow dirty fighting to happen to good people? Now, that’s a tough question.

      • Brother Les. All I can say is “I feel for you”. I have never been in a situation you have been faced with. I have been in one where a friend was killed by her husband and I know how I felt in that situation. I have been studying a lot about how God created the world and why it is set up the way it is. I have not reached any final conclusions yet, but I am getting there. I look at the creation and I see God restricting himself when he created mankind. By this I mean by giving them the ability to make choices for themselves. I believe God set things in motion, but mankind has chosen his way to go. There were no locked doors to the Garden of Eden. Satan had full entrance when he entered. I have some more ideals of why Satan chose this way to gain power, but that is another study. He used this freedom to put Eve to the test. She failed the test. Therefore evil came into the world by choice. I don’t believe God intervenes in our power of choice. He set this into motion and I beleive he will always allow mankind to make his own decisions, right/wrong, good/evil and not intervene. I believe this principle is set in concrete. When God put Adam and Eve out of the garden, he put safeguards at the entrance to keep those out that don’t play by the rules . We can only get in one way today. That’s by making the choice to fellow the rules laid down by Jesus. Satan has control of people in this world when they choose the evil things in this life. There are a lot of evil people in this world and your family has been touched in a terrible way by evil, but as you know, God is helping you work out your hurt, anger and everything esle connected with the position you are in at this time. I am still trying to find answers for all the bad things that happen in this world, but I know I cannot find the answers without the help of God’s word, friends, true Christian friends and my family. You will finally come to acceptance of what has happened in your life, but you will never forget. You probably will never be as trusting of people as you have been in the past, but you will be lenient in your judgements as much as possible. God has a work for you and I hope it will be a book that will help all of us be able to deal with bad things that happen to all people (Chistians or non christians). Be prepared for how people will react to your writings. Most people will not really share their pain and feelings as freely as I hope you will. We need more that will share with others those things that test their faith. God be with you as you continue to wrestle with your heartaches, some which have been caused by fellow Christians. God is still on your side just as he was when his Son died. Evil/choice of mankind, crucified Christ.

        • Thank you, Virginia. I appreciate much the sharing of your thoughts–and thanks for reading too. And yes, God is helping me work out my hurt. I hope and pray he is helping others do the same through the writings and eventually speaking, etc that I hope will come through this blog! Where do you hail from? How did you find me? Have a great day!

          • Aaron, my husband, and I retired from the ministry in 2009 and live in Killen, Al. now. We worked with MBC in Ms in the late 70-80’s. We talk with other friends about those we knew when we all worked at MBC and try to keep up with the things they are doing today. I saw your blogg on the MBC facebook site. I read several bloggs of those that we have known over the years. It encourges us when we see what those that are connected with MBC are doing today. That was a great work and did a lot of good for a lot of people.

  5. I have struggled with this long before my current challenges began.

    I continue to believe that God is good. I’ve concluded from the book of Job that evil, pain and suffering are from the accuser, not from God. I don’t understand why God permits it. Job doesn’t get a reason. God never tells Job about His wager with the accuser, or the fact that (incredibly) the Creator of all things believes in Job just as much as Job believes in Him.

    That’s what astounds me. God’s answer, in essence, isn’t an answer to Job’s questions at all, but the implied reassurace that God is God, and He can be trusted.

    There’s never a moment in the book of Job that I can recall where the existence of God is in question. His nature and character (along with Job’s) are debated on and on. But no one ever says, “With all these terrible things happening, there just can’t be a God.”

    The whole work is a work about faith. It may be called integrity, but ultimately what Job (and his friends) must learn is that his faith can’t be in himself or others or stuff – but in God.

    So I can only hope to navigate this present hell in my life by faith – and trust that His inscrutable purpose in letting Satan tear at my family is because – somehow – He believes in us.

    Which is not as much help as I would like it to be when I want to grab the one responsible for the suffering and evil and pain in the lives of my family and yours and so many others … and beat him to a bloody dying pulp.

    I can’t do that.

    The victory is already God’s through Christ.

    I have to trust in that.

    It’s all I’ve got.

  6. All I got is….I have a God who knows intimately what suffering is. He could have kept His Son off the cross, but he didn’t.

    I surely don’t understand why we go through the crap we do down here, but I do know that God isn’t untouched by it. He’s been through it himself.

    One other thing. Years ago one time I was complaining to God about stuff like this and what He told me is He hates suffering too. He hates it so much He never allows it …unless it’s necessary. Ooooookayyyy…….

    Now, you and I could speculate till kingdom come, literally and never understand why so much of what we go through down here is necessary. Myself, I just have to believe that for some reason, it is. I would go nuts if I let myself believe anything different.

    Keep being honest with God, with yourself and with us. I get the idea you are helping quite a few people…

    • Bunny, thanks for reading and for the comment. Not sure I agree with you on some of the necessary stuff. Or maybe I just don’t understand. Help me out here… I think you have some good things to say!

  7. Les, You and your family no doubt have experienced the worst experience life has to offer but I am becoming confused as to some of your remarks. You mention a new kind of faith, but it doesnt seem like faith at all. Faith would allow you to grieve and be angry at the evil man who perpetrated all this on your family. Asking why will make you crazy.
    Sometimes there are no answers just the belief that in the end we win. God himself watched his son tortured, mocked, accused unjustly, and horribly killed. Jesus did feel pain, he did feel hurt, he did feel abandonment also. Les for your childrens sake, and yours, try to make your blog a stepping stone to healing. You stated that you have a wonderful wife and wonderful children to walk this journey with you, no one will ever take Cole and Karens place, and I am trying to be so careful to not seem condemning and I am not. I have just seen so many people get so deep in sorrows that they never come out. It will always be your choice to find your way back to God if you find the right path. Thousands of us are praying for you daily. My patients that were young would always ask me, “why am I dying so young, what did I do?” How do you answer that? Mothers who would never see their children graduate, get married, see grandchildren, a change was made, rather than stay in state of extreme pain, we would focus on what they had, memories of childrens first day of school, first words, first steps, hugs, mudpie meals, and soon smiles would replace their tears. Different situation but a loss with much pain with same result, loss of someone deeply loved. In Jesus and Jesus alone, your hope of seeing Karen and Cole again is a reality. Just consider it.

    • Olive, I am a work in progress. Every day is different. So is my definition and understanding of faith. I have come to believe that wrestling with God is faith. One that never has been Tested cannot know how deep their faith really is. Certainly I am not alone in that regard. My children Do not see me wallowing in grief. But they do see me trying to live life to be positive and find joy and be happy and and seeking peace. In the meantime God and I wrestl. he’s not through with me yet and I’m not through with him.

      • Im glad you let me know that because I stay so concerned, but you do sound positive and happy when you talk about the kids and Your wife and that helps. Les so many would give their own lives to give you the peace that you need. Your influence is powerful and someone with that power can conquer. I know that you can get to the point you are searching for. I will continue to lift you and your sweet family in prayer.

        • Can I insert a little thought here? Mrs. Buckley, I see Les several days per week (he is so lucky) and can say I’ve witnessed healing going on in him since this blog began. Yes, like all of us, he has rough days, but he is moving. Forward, sideways and backward but MOVING! And that’s a big deal, isn’t it? Sounds like your work is helping people move through their emotions-what a gift you possess.

          • Shannon, Thank you for your sweet words, I am no different than anyone who wants to jujst help others when they face the end of life or just the many bumps and bruises along the way. I have witnessed the amazing change in people just be rewiring their thinking. Im so grateful that Les is healing, May be it is because he see you so often!!

  8. We don’t know how you feel but we love you. My troubles are small, but even so I have trouble sometimes pulling up my big boy pants and going on when someone has offended or wronged me. I want to get even or ahead – and i forget sometimes that ahead is walking away without gritting my teeth.

  9. In sharing your blog with a friend of mine (who recently subscribed), she shared a story with me she had seen on a Christian program. The man told his story that he had been sexually and physically abused by his father as a child and teen. As an adult, he became a Christian as he tried to understand why God had not intervened and stopped the abuse he had suffered. One night, he had some type of vision where he saw himself, being abused by his father. But, Jesus was there with his back torn and bloody, between him and his father. Jesus said to him, I was there and because I was there, you are alive today. As you have said, no one can understand the depths of your sorrow or doubt, but maybe your young son was spared because God was there. Praying for you to find some peace as you struggle with your loss.

    • Karyn, thank you for reading, commenting, and sharing. I have lots of questions and few answers. But I think the point is to question, wrestle, and grow. I don’t know what else to do but that! How’s life in Fl?

  10. Les, once again I see myself in you as you wrestle with God. I haven’t done that in quite a while, but there was a time when I did – every day. One of the things I have learned or gleaned from my difficulties in the past is something my daughter didn’t understand for a long time. In fact, she may still be struggling. I have come to the realization (in my case anyway, purely from my own experiences) that who better than Christians to deal with the hard “stuff” of life. While we are hurting so much when some tragedy befalls us, we know that God is there (even if we’re mad at him). How do people who are not Christians deal with heavy-duty hurting? As I said, this is from my own perspective. I just know that God is going to be with me, even if I don’t think He’s paying much attention to me at the time. I don’t know if this helps. I don’t want to be one of those folks who say “time heals all wounds.” It takes a little more than just time. You and your family are still in my prayers.

  11. Pingback: Job, the Lord, and Theodicy | Blog In My Own Eye

  12. I am one of those poor souls that trusts everyone – I trust the mail carrier to deliver my tax return without me having to send it certified, I trust the person on the other end of the line in Pakistan to credit my account with the payment I just made by phone, I trust that if I buy it that it will not break or fall apart in two days. You get it. I also trust people in my life – my husband, my children, my friends. I have found that people let you down. Because they are people, they screw up. When God lets you down, it’s harder to understand. He’s not supposed to screw up. He’s supposed to be on your side, have your back. If you do what your supposed to do (mostly!) then it’s supposed to work out right? It’s so hard to take this life he gave us and leave it in his hands to do as he will with it. It’s hard to have that complete trust that when it’s all falling to hell that he is still on our side, that he is fighting fair, that there might be more to this fight than we can see.

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