Many of you know that my dog went missing on Saturday. We’ve had her since July of 2008, a little over 9 years. In June of 2008, Jay was born, and the next month we added Sammie, our dog, to our family. You never realize, or should I say, I never realized, how much a dog means to you until they’re gone.
Sammie has cost me a lot of money. She was treated and treated for red mange. When we finally got her fixed, cause that would prevent her outbreaks, we found out she never had red mange to begin with. Instead, she had a skin allergy. Great! Special diets. Special medicines.
Nine years later a lot of that is behind us. Now her teeth are getting bad, they want to extract them and put in titanium inserts. Really? She’s a dog. And did I mention I work for the Church. I can’t afford titanium inserts. Fortunately we haven’t actually had to cross that bridge yet.
This past Saturday, when I went to feed her, I realized she wasn’t home. I went inside and asked the family if they had seen her that afternoon, we had been gone all day. No-one had. Jay and I would spend the next hour or so driving around looking for her; it was 8:30 at night and dark.
The next morning, at different times, Alesha and I rode around looking. That night I would begin chasing down leads from social media, even if they were for spotted dogs 13 miles from my house. Monday came, and again I am knocking on doors of strangers, handing out business cards and flyers. Frantically looking for my dog. Fighting back tears from time to time. Not only is she gone, but I don’t know if she’s even alive. And I need some closure if I’m going to move on.
In all of this, I begin to experience the heart of the Father, the heart of the Lord. Frantically looking for us cause we’re lost. And he refuses to stop. He refuses to give up. He chases down every lead. Every moment of hope. He fights back the tears. But he won’t stop; he won’t give up.
Our lives are worth more than titanium inserts and misdiagnosed allergies. And what I realized is that the Father, yours and mine, he’s not giving up on us. He’s not quitting. He’s going to continue chasing down leads and searching until he finds us waiting. Until he finds us ready.
There’s not a dog that is worth our love. But when we experience the love that the relationship can provide, there is an absence in our lives when our dogs aren’t part of them. Our Father experience that absence when we “go missing.” We aren’t worth his search, but he loves us. And he won’t stop until he finds us ready.
I pray that no matter how unworthy we feel, we may realize that the Father is searching for us right now. Not because of anything we’ve done or haven’t done, but because there’s an ache in his heart that can only be filled with us.
To be continued…