Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: REFUGE (08/29/19)
- TITLE: From Rescuer to Rescued
By Rachel Burkum
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I remember when I first heard about him. His mother had been killed. His sister had died soon after. He was all alone, orphaned with nowhere to go. At first, I couldn’t see past my own gloom. A family, better suited than I, would step up to take him in. There was always someone else. If I didn’t act, then the next person surely would.
I had something quite different in mind. A girl, for starters. And not one with quite so much baggage. Maybe it was arrogant of me, and I didn’t mean to look down on those less fortunate - I just really had my sights set on something - someone - else. I wanted a happy story, not a sad one. I was sad enough the way it was.
Then I saw a picture. I knew I shouldn’t have looked. But I did. As soon as I saw those bright, blue eyes, I could feel my heart melting right through my chest. I started imagining what it must be like to have lost everything. To exist in such a big, frightening world, and feel completely alone. At least I wasn’t truly alone. I even had a roof over my head every night, and a soft bed. But he had nothing. Nothing but the fear of following the same path as his mother or sister.
I stared at the photo for the longest time. Long enough to at least mop up some of my heart. How could I say no to this? I had my plans, but... maybe those plans should be rethought. Maybe I needed to be more open. More accepting. More willing to step outside my comfort zone.
When we met for the first time and I held him in my arms, I thought my smile might split my face right in two. I didn’t care about his disheveled appearance. About the way he smelled. About the need for extra care.
From that moment on, he was mine.
My dark place still existed, but the light was starting to shine through. I had that "something new" to distract my anxiety. To make me laugh. I had that "something new" to give me a reason to go home every night. He needed me. And I needed him.
God’s blessings come in a plethora of forms. And sometimes, one of those forms is the gift of a warm, fuzzy, tiny animal who can’t survive on his own. Dynamite was no more than two months old when he came to me from the farm where he’d been born. His mother had been hit by a car, and his sister had been unable to survive on her own. Somehow Dynamite beat the odds. His fur was matted, he had mud (and who knows what else) stuck to him, his belly was swollen, and his ears were full of mites. But it didn’t matter. He was my "baby."
Looking back, I realize now I was seeking shelter from life’s storms. I didn’t know how to cope, but God heard my silent cries. He knew all I needed was something to make me smile every day. My blessing didn’t come as a huge and miraculous sign. And it might not have even made sense to anyone else. But simply being able to provide shelter and love to some "one" else, became my own shelter and love in and of itself. I was hugging Dynamite... and God was hugging me.
** Dynamite is now nearing three and a half years old and is my healthy "Big Boy" who chatters and purrs happily on a daily basis, while sharing the house with his two "sisters." Not all would view this story the same as I, but I firmly believe God has given me these crazy furballs to ensure I keep smiling.
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