Yesterday I mentioned my knack for collecting strays. I’d really like to emphasize that I’m not saying this makes me a special person. It doesn’t even make me a particularly nice person or holy (or whatever) person. It does make me someone who thinks love is important.
Loving people is hard sometimes. Okay, a lot of the time. But, honestly, I don’t know how to not love people. Even when I’m at my grouchiest—and I can be really, really grouchy—my instinct is still to love other people. I don’t always act on that instinct, and I often don’t just fail but fail miserably. Still, the instinct to love is there.
My husband bears the brunt of this inner tension I feel sometimes between being Oscar the Grouch and Jesus the Christ, but love wins, people.
It should always win.
And in honor of all this talk about love, stray people, and how hard it all can be, here’s one of my favorite Over the Rhine songs.
Things you should know before clicking “play”:
This song was distributed as a demo recording prior to Over the Rhine’s most recent album, but it didn’t make the final cut. That means it isn’t included on any of their albums, you can’t purchase the single at iTunes, and the live concert recordings on YouTube aren’t great. Still, you should still pause for a few minutes to watch this clip. If you’re interested in hearing Linford’s lovely long and rambly introduction to the song, begin at the beginning. If you just want to hear the song, begin listening around the five-minute mark.
Oh, and here are some of my favorite lyrics, in case you can’t understand them:
I’m a no-kill shelter, it’s a labor of love. I rescue strays, seems I can’t get enough. Letting sleeping dogs lie is something I’ve never learned, like staying out of the kitchen if you don’t want to get burned. Ain’t no noble profession, ain’t no cut above, I’m a no-kill shelter, it’s a labor of love. . . Ain’t got no diamond-studded collar, no pedigree neither, but I can love a long time, before I need to take a breather. Not sure what it says about my high IQ, but I really get addicted to a dog’s-eye view. . . I’m a no-kill shelter, I’ll say it again: I may never get best in show, but then again, one thing in my life I’ve found to never fail—-if I’m feeling real good, I’m gonna wag a little tail. If it’s all the same to you, I’ve got nothing to prove, I’m a no-kill shelter, it’s a labor of love. Lyrics © Over the Rhine
So there you have it folks. It’s a labor of love.