But this nose thing is almost intolerable. Let me put it like this: when a dog blows its nose, you had better stand way back.
She comes out every morning trying to clean out her pipes, clearing her throat and spitting, blowing her nose and sneezing--just like her master, except he knows to use a handkerchief. Chloe on the other hand looks just plain disgusting.
I am sure you remember how it was when your toddler had a cold and you couldn’t follow him around all day wiping his nose. You really did have diapers to wash, and meals to fix, and floors to mop, and on and on, a never ending list. Suddenly he would come running to share with you a tot-sized marvel, and you would look up and, even if you didn’t say it, you would think, “Gross!” and grab a Kleenex to wipe up what was, um, hanging. Well, with a dog, multiply that several times--and add a few inches.
And just like a child, Chloe most certainly does not appreciate it when you wipe her nose. She has learned to recognize the restroom variety brown paper towels that hang on the carport, and runs when she sees one in Keith’s hand. As much as I hate to do it to her, when she flees to me for help, I grab her collar and hold her still so he can indeed, clean up that repulsive little schnozzle. I found out the hard way what happens if you don’t. Not only will she sneeze on you, but she will then wipe that nose all by herself--on your hem, or your shirtsleeve, or your jeans, or whatever else she can reach, mixed in with whatever dust or dirt she has lain in. It is repulsive and the only way it comes off is in the washing machine.
Are you thoroughly grossed out now? What do you think when you see a friend with a bad case of sin? Do you act like it isn’t there? Are you afraid of losing him to correction? Do you sympathize with him if anyone does care enough to try to help, joining in your friend’s criticism of their methods, their words, even their motivation—as if you could read minds? Do you just go along like nothing has happened, like it won’t make any difference to them or you or anyone else?
Sin is disgusting, especially in someone who claims to live a life of purity. It will keep him from eternal life just as surely as a nose full of snot will keep a child from breathing well. It will drip all over him in one disgusting glob and affect the lives of others who see him. And if you stay too close, it will get on you too. How can it not?
Think about that special friend right now. Everyone has one—someone you love who has lost his way. Are you going to allow your friend to continue in this revolting situation, or do you love him enough to grab a paper towel and wipe his nose?
But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh, Jude 1:20-23.