A few weeks ago my neighbors 3 kids showed up on our front porch in a panic, “Have you seen our dog” they pleaded? I hadn’t. Their dad had let him out earlier that day to go to the bathroom and he never came back. The kids were so upset. They had only had Cinnamon a few weeks but loved that dog with a passion. And right now their passion was finding that missing dog. We helped what little we could that night to search for Cinnamon. But the next day they showed up beloved dog in their arms, a huge smile on their faces and a story to tell. Someone had found their dog and had taken a photo of him and took the time to make signs saying “Is this your dog?” and then hung them around the neighborhood. Pet and owners were reunited in no time after that.
We live busy lives and how many of us might in a hurry just see the dog and wonder where it’s owner is… would we take the time to check out if he was lost or had tags or was safe? I know too often I haven’t in the past. But now whenever I see a lost dog I’m going to picture those 3 brokenhearted worried little faces that were missing their new family member and the joy on them once he was found.
They guessed by the umbilical cord being still attached and the amount of dehydration she was suffering from that she was no more than 6 days old. She had been left to die. The details are fuzzy about exactly where she was found but she wasn’t in a good place and wasn’t in a place that was in plain sight. But somehow in God’s wonderful mercy someone discovered this weak tiny little girl. I’ll never forget the call that we got when our agency director told us about her and told us that she wasn’t out of the woods and that they had given her about a 50/50 chance of survival due to such extreme dehydration and starvation. We knew what it was like to have loved a child and hoped for their survival but trusted God to ultimately make that call because we couldn’t heal and save lives like He could. We knew that even though the child we had hoped and prayed for went on to Eternity before us he was still worth loving those 37 weeks and 5 days in my womb! We knew this little girl was just as worthy to be loved and wanted that much. We said she’s ours… we want this little one! We had been asking for a baby girl and they had told us not to get our hopes up too high because they hadn’t received many babies in a while…. so when our hope was almost lost, Evie had been found.
He looked down and in one glance saw the utter lostness and chaos not only in that moment but in all of time since the garden was evacuated. Even though He knew before time and space even existed that this moment would come it still was heart breaking and yet it was a mission He would be born to do. This whole having a body that was being created and knitted together thing was every new… very unlike anything He’d ever experienced in His eternal existence thus far. 33 years used to feel like nothing in the heavenly realm but it seemed to crawl by as He would daily encounter those needing… searching for… waiting desperately on a Savior from the hopelessness of a system that only showed how often they failed and how the imagery of animal sacrifice granted them favor but only until the next sacrifice for the next failing. He knew they could be and would be freed from sin but He also knew what that was going to cost Him and His Father. His flesh begged not to have to go through with what lay ahead but His love knew there was no other way. He was betrayed, arrested, beaten, spit at, whipped, drug through the streets carrying his own cross, yelled at, mocked, and nailed into the cross and left to suffocate and die a long painful death between criminals. What must that morning have felt like to no longer have death before Him? To have once and for all accomplished what since the mouth met the forbidden fruit had been before him. The power and hope and mercy that must have surged through His whole being as He tenderly and lovingly picked up the broken pieces of the hearts of his dearest friends there on earth and from there started a revival that spread the news across the world that the price of freedom had been paid and that what dead was now alive and we who were so utterly lost now could be found.
Follow along with my entire month long series on Gospel Driven Hospitality.