The precious dog above, is my lab/greyhound mix rescue named Bella. Her third birthday is today and unfortunately, I also scheduled her annual vet visit (complete with vaccinations) this morning. I tend to do that for myself, just so my birthday becomes a health reminder as well.
Our morning ride to see Dr. Taylor was calm, however as we got to the parking lot of Landings Animal Hospital here in Avon Lake, Bella looked out the window and observed another dog in the backseat of the car next to ours, and she began to whimper. I’m assuming she wanted to play because her tail went crazy and she began to whine expectantly. The owner of the dog next to us, just grabbed the pets’ leash, let the dog out of the backseat, shut their car door and went inside the building. I kept Bella in the car for five more minutes so she could calm down and so that when we did go into the vet, the other dog would be comfortably in their exam room.
When we finally entered the building, Bella and I were placed in an exam room immediately, she was weighed and we were left to wait for Dr. Taylor with a small treat. She began to whine, sniff the floor, pace, and whine more…higher than I’d ever heard her whine. I couldn’t seem to console her, and she kept going to the door to smell underneath. I’m sure she knew there were other pooches/animals in the building.
When Dr. Taylor finally arrived, Bella got a little more antsy, but he easily hooked the slip collar over her neck and led her back to the weighing table. She went up on the table, and shook. I would LOVE to know what goes through their poor little minds when we take our animals to the vet. These are not torture chambers, we swear!!
He examined Bella, felt for any nodules/fatty pockets/lumps/bumps/etc. and checked her gums. His once-over gave me comfort, as he stated that Bella was right where she should be, weight-wise, and her gums/teeth looked perfectly healthy. He asked if there were any issues, and I told him of one that we had been treating her for in the past, that finally seems to be resolving. Then he prepared to give her the vaccinations we came to get.
Bella just stared at the table she was on, looking so uncomfortable. He took the stethoscope and placed in on Bella’s chest. In an effort to calm her, I reached out and put my hand on her little head and said, “Bella, you’re my strong girl.” Dr. Taylor leaned back, pulled the stethoscope off of her, and looked at me.
“When I put the stethoscope on her chest, her heart was beating a mile a minute, ” he said. “But when you reached out to touch her head, her heart immediately slowed down…amazing.”
I thanked him, and it made me realize something.
A touch means so much. It’s no secret that in our home, Bella for whatever reason has bonded strongly with me. When she is frightened by storms, or frantic when her tummy is upset, she runs to me. She will wake me up out of a deep sleep, dig her head into my chest and lay there until she is calmed. I love that, because I love her closeness, and I know when she is uneasy, I am able to give her some peace.
I’m sure you know where this is going. 😉
As a child of God, when I am anxious or when something doesn’t make sense, I seek out my Lord. After pushing away other worldly attempts to become calm, I have found that only Jesus and His Word and Presence are able to relax me.
Yesterday, if you had put a stethoscope on my heart while listening to the radio and the tragic news of yesterday’s loss in Connecticut at Sandy Hook Elementary, you would’ve heard my heart beating a mile a minute. Instead of feeding on the details of the massacre that has a nation searching for God in this, I turned on WCRF (103.3FM, a local Christian radio station) and listened to Chris Fabry explain that he would be veering off of his normal programming to address concerns from listeners and to pray for those affected by the evil that touched Newtown, CT.
He stated how easy it is to listen to the grisly details and focus on the intensity of the situation, but ultimately, this boils down to evil. And instead of questioning and shutting out God, we need to open up our hearts to Him and become the hands/feet of Jesus and reach out to those who are hurt/lost so that they can see/feel the light of Christ within us.
WE…yes WE believers…are the light that Jesus left behind to shine in His world. God’s Son was made manifest into the being of a human, to carry the weight of all sin, even the sin of yesterday, so that hope could renew those who are hurting. We are the ones who the lost will turn to, maybe to blame and throw out hatred since they can’t see God in the chaos. But nonetheless, we are the ones who can share a comforting word that isn’t empty, provide hope where there doesn’t seem to be any, and offer a listening ear to a person who is hurting. Service to others, is the very nature of Christ, and honors our Lord when we take the focus off of blame and intensifying hatred, and direct it to the one who is the great Healer.
Comfort seems to come in many ways, but the only comfort that can truly bring us to a place of peace, is through Christ Jesus. When I cried yesterday listening to the news and saying, “Lord, this is a time when people may reject You. How can we show them that you aren’t to blame?” He responded with, “GO…”. And however that is seen as a necessity in your interpretation, Go…
Don’t be afraid to answer questions from unbelievers. Don’t be afraid when someone hates you because you represent the God they think abandoned them. Don’t turn and take the hate personally. Open up your heart and mind to the mind of Christ, and offer the words He puts on your lips to comfort. When someone’s heart is beating a mile a minute, your touch could bring the calm they need…and point them in the direction of their loving Savior’s arms.
May all of those affected by yesterday’s senseless tragedy, find comfort in the arms of Christian believers who can offer hope. May they find renewed hope in the news of Jesus and the grace and mercy He provides. Lord, please give peace to those seeking answers. Please let the hands/feet of Jesus in that neighboring community reflect the light of Christ and encourage those who have questions/lack of understanding/lack of hope. And if there’s anything we can do here, let us see your will and do it.
God bless everyone who reads this and may they take Your blessing and run with it.