Tuesday, January 12, 2010

"Suppose one of you had a hundred sheep and lost one. Wouldn't you leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the lost one until you found it? 5 When found, you can be sure you would put it across your shoulders, rejoicing, 6 and when you got home call in your friends and neighbors, saying, 'Celebrate with me! I've found my lost sheep!' 7 Count on it—there's more joy in heaven over one sinner's rescued life than over ninety-nine good people in no need of rescue.
Luke 15:4-7 (MSG)

Saturday I came up to the church to do some work that I normally do on Sunday morning. My thought was that it would be a lot warmer then. Actually the difference between anything below 40 degrees seems to be irrelevant to my body, but I digress. :)

Some of our young people were up here playing their Star Wars RPG and came walking over to the office followed by a cute dog. "Brother David, this dog just showed up and we don't know where he came from." The dog didn't have a collar or any identification and I didn't recognize it. But I told them I'd figure out what to do with it.

It was a really cute pekinese type dog, with beautiful fur and was very friendly. Yes, it was a little unsure of all the strangers, but when I picked him up his shivering quickly ceased. Still, it was so cold I could not see leaving the dog to find it's way home. The picture of that puppy outside later when darkness fell was unacceptable.

I saw Jim, Mary, and Ka'rin Quinnell over in the fellowship hall and walked over to ask them what they thought I should do. They agreed that the pup was too well kept to be homeless and probably belonged to someone nearby. They suggested I call the Valparaiso Police and ask them if they had any reports of lost dogs. So I did. You get an idea of how small Valparaiso is by the dispatch operator's offer to send a police car to pick up the dog. I told her that since I had to pass the city hall on the way home, I'd drop it off, but first I wanted to drive through the neighborhood and see if anyone had lost him.

So I started praying that God would help me find the owner and that this little one would be able to be in the arms of someone who loved him. I walked over to the Honda dog-mobile and we drove away from the church. 50 feet past the first corner, I saw a couple of women loading up an SUV. I had the dog in my lap and it went off into vibrate mode and they lit up like the sun.

"Kiki! Where have you been?" And the celebration began. :)

Mission accomplished.

As I drove on home, I couldn't help but think of what it must look like in heaven when God's children are "found". I know that the good people who are part of our churches need care, need instruction, need everything we can reasonably give. But my heart tells me that God's heart for the lost should be our heart too.

It's an awesome feeling to be a part of getting someone (or some dog) "found". I hope we get more opportunities to experience that here at New Hope in 2010.

Grace and peace,

David Wilson

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