On Monday night I told my Sand Surfers class about an adorable little puppy I found near where I work in downtown Indy. This precious little guy had hair at least 10 inches long and was covered in mattes the size of softballs. You couldn’t even tell he was white or see his big brown eyes! In fact, I had to do a double-take the first time I saw him - you couldn’t even tell he was a dog! He ran from me the first few times I tried to get him. I was finally able to lure him close to me with a few pieces of bread. Poor little guy was so hungry. It didn’t take long to realize he was hungry for more than just food. He was starving for love and affection. Once I had him in my arms I had no idea what to do with him. He was filthy dirty and I was certain my husband was not going to want another dog. I called him and he gave me the address to the nearest shelter. Reluctantly, I drove him there all the while convincing myself they would receive him with loving arms and immediately clean him up and find him a good home. I was sorely mistaken. I will leave out the horrible details but the shelter is not exactly a 4 star doggie hotel. I was escorted to a huge room with crates that reached the ceiling and filled with crying dogs. The shelter worker walked in front of me to an empty crate, flung open the door and turned to me motioned with his hand as if to say “just dump him in here”. The poor little thing started shaking with fear, tears began to fall uncontrollably from my eyes and right there in the middle of the shelter I had an emotional breakdown. I could not control myself. I slowly started backing away with the tears streaming down my face. I had no idea what I was going to do but I knew I wasn’t going to leave the dog I was holding in my arms in that aful place. A sweet lady walked by and could see I was falling apart so she pulled me aside, made a few phone calls and next thing I knew I was headed south to a groomer to get the little guy cleaned up. She told me the shelter would pay for his grooming if I would take him home. Deal! I was determined to do whatever I could to find him a good home. I brought him home with me, fed him a good meal and made sure he was nice and cozy in my basement. I knew he would never have to spend the night cold, hungry and scared ever again. It wasn’t long before he transformed into a new puppy. It was as if someone had flipped a magical switch. He showered me with trusting kisses and was eager to run and play. I was definitely in love!
That night as I lay in bed, the horrible scenes I witnessed at the shelter began playing over and over in my mind. I wondered if I would ever be able to forget the images of starving, neglected and sad eyes. As the tears began to flow again, I heard the gentle whispers of my Father. “You were lost and scared just like that sweet little dog. You were cold and hungry too. You were headed to a place much worse than that animal shelter. I came for you many times but like the puppy, you ran from me, too. Only I could see underneath all the exterior dirt and grime who I created you to be.”
I realized that the puppy turned a crucial corner when he trusted me enough to take the bread from my hand. That’s when my life turned a corner as well. It was when I finally began taking what My Father was offering me through His Word – the bread of life – that I began to change. Praise God, I look nothing like I did when He found me! When He picked me up in His arms, He began cleaning off the dirt that I had accumalated my whole life: depression, anger, fear and shame, and the list goes on and on. Now I am begining to look more and more like the person He created me to be: joyful, free and satsified and madly in love with my Savior!
Are you still running? Are you still hiding? Trust the hand that is holding out to you the bread of life. Once you have tasted His goodness your fear will begin to melt away. He lives to rescue! Thank you Sweet Jesus!
P.S. I found a good home for this sweet little guy. He is now loved and adored and gets his belly scratched on a regular basis! I love happy endings!!