God brings lost dogs to my house. It is my job to return each of them to their homes. This morning, it was a huge, beautiful Golden Lab named Bogie. I was performing the most mundane of tasks when he showed up, pouncing around like a puppy who had stumbled into the same radiation which turned Bruce Banner into The Incredible Hulk.
It is trash day, and with a family my size, the enormity of the pile at the curb is pretty embarrassing- 4 large blue recycling bags, 6 lawn bags, 1 over filled industrial size trashcan, 1 large black garbage bag that wouldn’t fit into the trashcan, and 1 neat stack of flattened cardboard boxes. I had just finished thinking how ridiculous it is that anyone would have so much trash that they needed to haul it to the street in a garden cart when Bogie showed up, bounding around my yard and into my morning.
And so, I did what I always do- I grabbed a leash and a cell phone and proceeded to take him home.
I walked him, I mean, he walked me around the block in my pajamas and flip flops. I still had my morning hair. I guess it was God’s daily dose of humility for me, His divine vitamin cocktail of “Don’t Take Yourself So Seriously”.
The morning sun glittered off Bogie’s back as the chill numbed my toes. While we walked, I had time to think of a few of the other dogs God has brought my way. There was the black Labrador who showed up at my door just as a vicious storm broke one night. He ended up staying all night long. I awakened throughout the night to find his nose on the edge of the bed about 4 inches from my own. “I know this is a big harassment,” he seemed to say. “I really appreciate it. I’m so glad not to be lost in the storm. By the way, I love you…”
Thanksgiving day, a lost miniature poodle sat down on my front porch around the time I finished washing the last dish. He cuddled with me for awhile, and ended up falling in the millstone fountain by the front walk before going home.
About a month ago, I stopped by my house just long enough to unload a trunk full of groceries before rushing off to an appointment to find a tiny white dog in the corner of my yard.
“I’m late! I don’t have time for this,” I groaned.
I made time. I retrieved the tiny furball and called the number on his collar. His owner had been searching for him frantically. He was 13 years old, mostly blind and completely deaf.
I also had time to think about how hard it is for me to accept the obvious fact that God directs these lost animals to me. I think it is a leftover from my legalistic past which defined just what and who God cared about and didn’t. Somehow, it is difficult for me to accept that he really does care about all of his creation so much that he looks around for which of his children is willing to be inconvenienced long enough to join him in the care of the sick, the lost, the suffering.
I mean, if Jesus really does care about lost dogs enough to bring them to me to take home, he must really care about me, right?
Someone reading this right now feels just like I do, and is saying “What a load of crap.” (Yes, I just used the word “crap” in an inspirational piece. Get over it.)
But it is not crap, and as hard as it is for me to accept, there is scripture to support the premise.
“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” Matthew 6:26
And so, God brings me lost dogs because he loves them, and wants them to be returned home safely. He also brings them to me for my sake, to remind me that His eyes are ever on me, and that when I lose my way, He will drop tender mercies in my path to guide me home.