Nutritarian Beet Burgers and God’s Lessons From Man’s Best Friend

The cone could not save her

The cone could not save her

I grew up eating pickled beets out of a can. I hated them but I had to eat everything on my plate. So it was a real leap for me to eat a beet burger at Mom’s Organic food store. I liked it so well, I tried it at home. After researching several recipes, here is what I came up with.

Chop up 3 beets and an onion with several cloves of garlic and fry in small amount of water or olive oil until tender. Add  1/2 cup cooked brown rice, 1/2 cup of cooked lentils, 1/4 tablespoon coriander, 1/4 tablespoon curry powder, 1/4 tablespoon ginger, 1 tablespoon tahini, 1/4 cup northern beans. Mash and form into patties. Add whole wheat flour or oat flour to stiffen the mixture if necessary. Fry and serve on a bun with onion, tomato, and greens.

Some good things like beets might appear bad in the wrong form. This past week my favorite dog gradually passed from this life into the next. My friend told me not to let the pain of death spoil the gift of life and so I am writing this to affirm the life of my dog who taught me much about God and how He wants us to live simply and honorably. Here is what she taught me:

Do not judge. Roxy came to us as a rescue pup . The twelve years of her life coincided with the turbulent teen years of  my two kids. During those years, every one of us showed our worst sides but Roxy was always there to love us and help us through the anger and despair. She never judged us but quietly curled up beside us and licked our tears away. She was steady as a rock; never wavering in her love for us. I don’t know what we would have done without her. I thought I was rescuing her, but she rescued me. When we extend a helping hand to the needy in the name of Christ, He extends a helping hand to us. We are all needful in His eyes, and He blesses us in our service to others.

Forgive others. Roxy never held a grudge or even faulted us for our foolishness. The week before she fell ill, she began to lick her paw raw. Nothing was wrong with her paw and I decided to get a cone to put around her neck. I did not know she was in the first stages of death and her paw licking was a sign of that stress. She hated the cone but when I took it off each day so she could eat and take a walk, she obediently allowed me to put it back on.  If I could take back anything, I would take back making her last days miserable with that stupid cone around her. We do many wrong things out of ignorance, anger, and negative thinking but Christ forgives them all. There is not one sin that Christ cannot forgive but the lack of faith. Like Roxy, God is always there for us and no sin is too big for Him to forgive and forget.

Spend time with those who suffer. When I was sick with cancer, my dog was there by my side.  She was my constant companion. Her presence provided much comfort. We don’t have to cure the ills of others as much as we need to share in their suffering. Though Christ heals us, he also suffers with us as he did when he wept at the death of his friend Lazarus. There is something very holy about suffering and all too often we do everything we can to cut it short. The very act of suffering can bring God closer to us.

Take a walk every day. Roxy loved to walk. She never wanted to come home. The longer I walked, the happier she was. She got me out of the house. She would even jog with me but her favorite walk was to take time to sniff and leave a calling card for all her other dog friends, which brings to mind another lesson.

Everyone is a friend until proven otherwise. Roxy loved everyone. She was never too tired, hungry, or otherwise distracted to greet an old or new friend. Our God is the same way. He is a social God. He loves His church and He wants us all to be in a family with others through Christ. No matter how far away your biological family is, even if they have passed away, we can step into any Christ-loving church and enjoy a feeling of  family. I think the same will be true when we pass away. We will step into everlasting life with whole new type of  family to enjoy, and somewhere in the fields of heaven, Roxy will come leaping over to me to greet me home.

Jesus wept. — John 11:35

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