Thursday, August 09, 2007
I just love how the Lord works. He constantly blows me away with his love and mercy, with the smallest of concerns. In fact...there are no concerns too small for God. Today was a lesson in that.
I went to Adoration this afternoon, and ne of the things I prayed about was my dreams involving Fire. I know I did the right thing, I was there, I said goodbye, and yes, I miss him. Jesus and I had a great discussion about that, and he said that he speaks to us in dreams...why am I not listening? I so rarely understand when such cryptic things come to me in prayer, so I just threw my hands up as usual (so to speak) and asked him to reveal himself and what he meant. That part of my prayer was answered today; it is that other people feel as I do when they suffer a loss, and sometimes, we are in the circumstances in which we can provide that answer to another soul. I will explain.
While I was there, I sensed that I should take my dog to the dog park this afternoon for awhile. I didn't really want to go; while I love going there, today is a warm day, it's rush hour, and a thousand other excuses. And then I was guilty for being distracted in prayer. I wasn't sure what I would do, but en route home from the church, I knew I had to go to the dog park. I figured I'd let her chase a ball for awhile, give her water, and come home. And that's what happened...but there's more to the story.
This is where it gets good...
There was no one at the park when we arrived, which wasn't surprising. 4 pm on a Thursday afternoon? People are at work, and it's a hot day. My German Shepherd and I are the only nutjobs dumb enough to be out on such an afternoon.
I was thinking about leaving when a car pulled up behind mine and a woman got out with her dog. I figured my dog could use some canine contact so decided to stay. Sure enough, the new dog made a beeline for us, and the woman who arrived commented that my dog looked just like Sadie.
She asked me where I got her? "The Humane Society", I told her. "A few years ago."
She was insisting that she never thought she'd see this dog again...that was Sadie. I told her that when I adopted her, she was called "Sugar Bear" and I had to change the name.
By this time, the woman was very excited, and I was a little shocked. "That's Her! When we got her, she was called Sugar Bear! We called her Sadie! CAN I HUG YOU? We were heartbroken when my parents had to give her up!"
So this afternoon, that's how I found myself hugging a stranger in a dog park in suburbia.
For a little backstory....when I adopted my girl, the Humane Society gave me her history. First she was brought in by a girl who was going to college, so had to give her up. Then a woman adopted her for her parents, who had recently lost their dog. She had a good home with that couple, but the man was diagnosed with terminal cancer, they realized they could not care for her, so found her a home. Those people couldn't care for her so brought her back to the Humane Society. She was adopted once or twice after that, and then came to me, where she has been ever since.
The woman I met today is the same one who adopted her for her parents! She explained that they were heartbroken; they LOVED this dog to death and always wondered what had become of her. J., the woman I spoke with today, revealed that she and her husband wanted to adopt her but they had cats and "Sadie" was not good with cats. So they, too, were heartbroken because they'd fallen in love with this sweet-natured German Shepherd. J. said that she had prayed to God that she'd found a good home, and was worried she'd gone to some crazy family that ignored her or treated her badly. All she wanted to know was whether their "Sadie" was all right.
She looked at me, then, thrilled. She could see with her own eyes that "Sadie", now Tikaani, is wonderful. She's healthy, happy, and has a good home. I told her how she came to be with me and how she's been...she was familiar with some of her behaviors, asked how that had gone, and it was just an amazing conversation.
And just to make the Hand of God so clear; she was there today with a dog that does not belong to her. She is taking care of her while her relatives are out of town, but they are coming back and today was her last day at the park as she does not have a dog of her own right now.
Can there really be any doubt that my presence there today had nothing to do with me, or my dog, but the answer to a prayer for a woman who wanted a little grace,a little peace, and made her request out of love? I'm not sure which of us was more blessed today: me, for having a front seat to God's abundant love, or her, for having recieved the answer to a humble prayer?
But there's another facet to our meeting, perhaps a much deeper one. When she pulled up behind my car, not knowing at the time that she was about to be reunited with a favored pet, she took note of my bumper stickers. I have a pro-life sticker from a verse from Isaiah: "Before you were formed in the womb I knew you..." (It says more but I forget the rest.)
She commented, "Oh! A woman after my own heart!" She explained she and her husband are trying to conceive, so abortion really ticks her off. Here they are trying so hard to bring a new life into the world, and others are slaughtering their children. They are now looking to adopt, but still have hope God may bless their marriage with their own children.
I had the sense she is not Catholic, but is a practicing Christian. I asked her if she'd heard of the Pope Paul VI center. It's not based in MN, but she asked if they have something local? She knows people who went through a Christian fertility center, but doesn't know what it's called. Since I'm not married and don't have children, I'm not familiar with local resources, so I just suggested she look into NFP or look for an NFP only doctor...I explained that there is a ton of science behind NFP and couples have used this method TO BECOME PREGNANT when faced with fertility issues. She didn't seem thrilled, so didn't comment and slightly changed the subject.
So I am asking you all for prayers for her and her husband. She seems to be a delightful person, is my age, maybe a little younger and had she not told me she has no children, I would have assumed she was a mother. She SEEMS like a mother, and is clearly a very loving soul.
She did take my email down, so if any of you, esp. from the Mpls.- St. Paul area are familiar with good Catholic and other Christian fertility clinics (read: no in-vitro, no contraceptive chemicals, no tube babies, no surrogate, etc.), please post links. I know about omsoul.org and the Paul VI Institute (I think that's what it's called)and the Couple to Couple League, but is there anything else locally? I'd love to be able to send her some links if she does email me.
Above all, keep this couple in your prayers, that the Lord will bless their marriage and grant them a new life to nurture and offer for His glory.