This morning, as I woke up to make coffee and start the day, I noticed a small white blur outside the front window. “What was that?” I wondered. A small tuft of white went by again and I saw a dog walking by. No leash. No owner following it. As the dog walked by, it looked lost. Somehow it had escaped from its yard and was wandering aimlessly through the neighborhood.
Having my own dog, I knew that I’d want someone to retrieve him if he ever got out, so I made my way outside and called the dog over. It was a white male terrier of sorts, and a quick look at his dog tag told me his name was Fiji. Thankfully, Fiji had a responsible owner and there was a phone number. Phone in hand, I dialed the number on Fiji’s tag and told the lady at the other end that I had her dog. It was 6:30am, too early in my opinion to disturb anyone, but this was Fiji! This was important.
After a few rings, someone finally answered and Fiji’s owner had had no clue that he had escaped during the night. I gave the woman my address and she immediately made her way to my home—a good half-mile according to Google Maps—and Fiji quickly claimed his dogmother. Both dog and woman were thankful. Off they went in the dogmother’s car. All in all, about a 20-minute encounter. Yet, I can’t stop thinking about this morning.
Since that time this morning, I’ve thought of Jesus’ words in Luke 15 where He gives us the stories of the lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost son. The lost sheep, found by the shepherd who left the other 99 and called his friends and neighbors together to rejoice upon its being found. The lost coin, found by the woman who sought it out by sweeping the house and searching the nooks and crannies of her floor, who upon finding it called her friends and neighbors to rejoice upon its being found. The lost son, forlorn and ashamed of his actions, found by a heartbroken and miserable father who could finally rest since his son was finally under his roof. A tired and wiser son could also finally rest since he was finally safe under his father’s roof.
Two-thousand years since Jesus’ stories above, today’s run-in with Fiji echoes this joy. It is but a small taste of the joy that is found not only by us as we press into the Lord, but the joy He has as we do. And not just our joy, but that of His community as well. Luke 15:7 and 10 tell us that “there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Wow. As we celebrate Father’s Day this weekend, go and live with the knowledge that God, our Heavenly Father, wants to celebrate you and your continued seeking of Him.
Be encouraged, and do not give up.
The night of sleep that awaits Fiji tonight will be like no other.
Peaceful. It’s the life we, too, were designed for.