I've thought about how to keep this short, but I don't think that is possible, so bear with me. A few days ago, we decided to make a quick trip to Minneapolis to help John and Erin out with the new patio they are creating in their backyard. Erin and John had previously done the ground work of digging out the dirt and then John and his Crew of Mighty Men had put down the paving stones. When we arrived, there was still a lot of finishing work to do, so Erin, John and Lauren got to work and I played with Jack and Eli - a big job but someone has to do it, right? :) I was happy for the chance to be with all of them before surgery sidelines me for awhile.
In the afternoon, Erin and Lauren decided to take a break and walk their dog Maisy and our dog Lucy. Lucy is an extremely shy dog; we knew this when we got her last fall at age 7 months, and she has come a long way since then, but she is very much afraid of loud noises. They were just outside Erin's house going toward the corner when a motorcyclist was riding by and saw them, and he "popped" it, making a very loud noise. Lucy took off in the opposite direction, pulling loose from Lauren and dragging the leash behind her, running at top speed. She headed toward the park that is only a block or two away, and Lauren took off running after her. Jack and I soon followed, but she was nowhere in sight.
We searched, we called, we prayed, but there was no sight of Lucy. After John and I drove around the neighborhoods, I asked him to drop me off back near the park. I walked along the creek that borders it, calling her name over and over, but no Lucy. As I rounded a bend and came along a pond, some people were at a high end of the pond and pointing and looking. They saw me and called, asking if I was looking for a dog. After I said yes, they told me she was in the pond! I I called and called, but I couldn't see her because of the tall reeds and grass surrounding the pond. So I waded in, not sure where the ground was going to drop, getting wet halfway to my knees. I reached the edge and looked, and there, about 20 feet or so was Lucy! I called her and she swam to me and I was able to get her. out, so glad to see her and I'm sure she was glad to see me! Soon, the rest of the gang was there and we were able to get Lucy home, where she got a bath (Maisy got one, too, even though she stayed home!).
All of this excitement gave us a lot to talk about, needless to say. Jack and I were talking about it later that night when I was tucking him in to bed and reading him stories. We prayed and thanked God for bringing Lucy home, and Jack told me he got scared when I cried as we were looking for her. I was able to tell him that as hard as it was to have Lucy lost, it would be so much harder if he or Eli or Maya got lost, and that they mean even more to me than Lucy. We talked about how much God loves them, even more than I do, and that God is always with us.
There were many Bible passages that came to mind as we searched and after Lucy was found. I thought about the parable of the lost son, and how his father rejoiced when he returned. I thought about the parable of the lost sheep, and how the shepherd will leave his flock to find one lost sheep and when he finds it, joyfully puts it on his shoulder and carries it home. I know that Jesus taught these parables to show how much God rejoices when someone who is lost comes to Him and repents, and I am so glad He could use a lost dog to remind me this. I wish I could say I shared all of this with Jack that night, but he was drifting off to sleep, safe at home where he is loved and cared for. But we will, no doubt, have the opportunity to talk about it all in our future chats on the phone or a web cam, and I am grateful for the windows God gives us to share about his love for us.
The patio is looking good; Erin and I had a chance to get a few shrubs to put in, and it is going to be a wonderful space for them to relax and play with the boys and Maisy. We are back home and Lucy is napping - no doubt glad to be home. I have a doctor appointment tomorrow for pre-op tests so I would love your prayers that all is well so that I can have surgery on the 14th. I'll keep you posted, and I so appreciate your prayers. As you pray for me, please also be reminded to pray for those you love who are lost and need a relationship with Jesus. God is so amazing that He can use a lost dog to remind us that He desires us to pray for those who need him.