Thursday, July 19, 2007

Getting from There to Here...

My dog, Ruthy, is a rock star. No, she doesn't win blue ribbons for anything. Her repertoire of tricks extends to getting a daily dog bone without taking my hand with it. And the only pedigree I'm aware of in relation to Ruthy is the brand of dog food she eats on occasion. The woman we acquired her from said, "She's a dog of questionable quality."

But there's something utterly charming about Ruthy. She is a pure and gentle spirit. Just this week, a grandfatherly man in a jeep missed his green arrow, much to the chagrin of those behind him, as he craned his neck and grinned and waved wildly at Ruthy. Yesterday, we got the megaphone yell for holding up traffic at Camp Thurman when a group of counselors and campers literally stormed the car to try and pet her. She's a source of much joy to our family. I regret that I didn't have a camera to capture the time she jumped into Daniel's car seat for the ride to school. Ninety-two pounds of big, old dog in a booster seat.

On the way to camp this week, John said, "Mommy, can you believe that someone actually dumped Ruthy on the streets of Dallas!" You see, Ruthy had been abandoned four years ago with a litter of pups. She was malnourished and had sores all over her body. Mercifully, someone rescued her. Her next stop would be a place that sheltered dogs. While Ruthy was let outside twice a day and well fed, she spent the balance of the day and night in a crate. Her third and final stop was our home where today I firmly believe she lives as well or better (sadly) than many toddlers in America.

Reflecting on all of this, I said to John, "It is unbelievable. But if Ruthy hadn't been abandoned, we never would have found her."

Several friends from my Monday Sonrise group got together yesterday. Between financial and health concerns, some of my friends now have serious issues. I pray that God will carry them and guard their hearts and show His mercy in tangible, restorative ways. I also know firsthand how hard it is to believe that the sun will ever shine in the midst of a storm.

For whatever reason, I was thinking during my time spent with friends yesterday about Ruthy... and the fact that her adversity was part of the path home. In all of our lives, there are valleys... times in which we feel all but abandoned... isolated, rejected, lonely, even cursed. But we must never lose sight of the fact that God is alive and at work in our times of uncertainty and pain... shaping our hearts... molding our character... changing our perspectives... defining our purpose. Our scars are sometimes the seeds of bountiful spiritual harvest. Keep the faith and hold tight to the hope we have in Christ... and know no matter what... that you are loved.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)

On my iPod... Bring the Rain by Mercy Me

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