Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: See (07/22/10)
TITLE: I Chased a Dog
By Brenda Shipman
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He dashed out in front of my truck in such a flash that I barely avoided hitting him. I jerked the steering wheel sharply to the left and screeched to a stop. So did all the other cars around me, and we watched as the dog made it safely across the highway.
I whipped the truck around and began pursuing him, dismayed that he had changed course and started back across the busy highway again. I held my breath as he reached the other side, dodging cars left and right, then headed into the neighborhood behind a couple of strip malls. I kept him constantly in my sights, driving somewhat recklessly through parking lots and along residential streets, several times stopping to call him, whistle, coax. But he was too afraid.
He headed back to the highway. I put my hands over my eyes, and prayed for his protection through my tears, sure that he was about to be hit. Miraculously, a path opened up for him between the steady stream of cars, and he made it across. I waited for the light to turn green, then raced through the intersection. He had slowed his pace to a walk, was obviously exhausted, panting, his tongue lolling out the side of his mouth. Soon as he saw my truck, he began running again.
I finally directed him into a cul-de-sac, parked the truck in the middle of the street, then got out to corral him into a corner. He panicked even more, began trying to jump five-foot fences, looking for any escape. He tried to run around me and I blocked his way every time. I even tried luring him with bits of a donut, but he absolutely would not trust me. He could not see that my intentions were only for his welfare – to shelter him, protect him, love him. His fear had blinded him to these truths, and all he knew to do was run, just keep on running, and hope to find home again.
A monsoon storm was rolling in and it started to rain. The poor little guy finally looked me in the eyes and sort of gave up. He stretched out on a driveway, put his head in his paws and stared at me. It was in that moment, in the rain, looking into the eyes of a precious pup, that I experienced a tiny fraction of the heart of God toward me.
As much as I wanted to help that little guy, to provide shelter, aid, comfort and prevent his destruction, it paled in comparison to the tremendous heart God has for His children. Yet, how many times had I run from God, afraid of Him, not trusting Him, not believing His promises, that, “He tends his flock like a shepherd; He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart,” (Isaiah 40:11)? Or that, “He rescued me, because he delighted in me,” (2 Samuel 22:20)? How often had I forgotten that He said, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness,”?
Jesus expressed the Father’s longing to draw us to Himself when He said, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem…how often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!”
He longs to gather us under His wings, and yet we often will not go to Him. I saw myself in that lost wandering dog and I felt the broken heart that God must experience when we do not trust Him and let Him gather us.
So far, the story is happy. Animal control arrived, and with much wrestling against the leash, he was rescued. I visited him at the shelter today, hugged him, scratched behind his ears, told him I loved him. He rewarded me with an energetic wag of his tail, and sweet licks. We cannot take him in because of our present situation. But on the way home, I prayed for his adoption. That God would continue to rescue him by placing him in a home filled with all the love he can stand.
Thomas Kelly said, “Over the margins of life comes a whisper, a faint call, a premonition of richer living which we know we are passing by.” God whispered to me in this ordinary moment of life, and offered me something from heaven – through a dog.
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