This is the last post in my series of stories from our meet-up, what a blast it's been writing these. Well, this last story features my fellow SUMite Lucie, from Canada, who was the last one I was left with before flying home.
It had been such a wild few days together, that Lucie and I had much to reflect on. We spoke to each other about how there had been 'God moments at every turn.'
And it was against that backdrop that this final little thing happened. When I tell you about it, it might sound to you like it's not even a God thing ... But to me, it felt meaningful because it came as a kind of finale to a string of 'moments' that week. It was our final thing.
Ok, here's what happened:
Lucie and I were being looked after that final day by Jim Edwards, who has a house in Redding. Jim generously had offered to be our 'taxi driver' while were there, and looked after us beautifully --
(Thank you, Jim).
We had an errand to run: We needed to go and visit a particular lady's house. And so we parked up in a suburban neighborhood, Jim left Lucie and I in the car, and off he went to go and knock on that lady's door.
Lucie and I sat in the car; and I opened the door for some fresh air.
"Do you have pets?" Lucie suddenly asked, out of the blue.
(Funny, as I've just typed that my very own pet, Gizmo the cat, has made a beeline for me and given me a wet-nosed nudge on my leg to say hello)
"I DO!" I said, and pulled out a photo of Gizmo.
Instantly, I felt a wet-nosed nudge on my leg. And, before I could figure out what was going on, a ginormous German Shepherd dog was climbing into the car, on top of me! He was whining, panting, and drooling all over me. A big dog and a small Ann.
"Oh hello" I said, and started laughing, while also trying to avoid his lashing tongue, licks, spit and dog breath, and trying to figure out if he was fully friendly.
So just to recap and pause here: Lucie asks "Do you have pets?" and at the same time a dog enters the car. Isn't that a bit wild?!
The dog is crying. He jumps out, sniffs around on the grass, then heads back into the car. Gets out. Gets back in. Every time he comes back to us he's whimpering.
"I think he needs something," says Lucie. "I think he's upset about something."
"Could be," I said, and out I jumped. "Who does he belong to?" We looked up and down the quiet street ... The doors were all shut; the street was quiet.
"I'll knock on these people's door here, and ask them," I said. And so I did.
I looked at the tag: The dog's name was Beau, and the man whose door I knocked on grabbed his mobile while we dialed Beau's owner's number from the tag. It turned out that he was indeed lost. His owner was visiting a house a few doors down and Beau had escaped into this strange neighborhood.
"Come on Beau!" the man said, "Let's get you back to your owner," and off they trotted down the road to reunite Beau with his mum. As I looked at him disappearing down the road he was wagging his tail. A happy ending.
"Ahhh...." Lucie and I grinned at each other. And then we stopped and reflected: "Wasn't that weird that just as you asked me about pets, a dog climbed into the car??"
"He was lost."
"Is God symbolizing something about the lost?"
"Was God telling us we'll help rescue the lost?"
We mulled it over. And as we did we decided we liked the symbolism:
The lost will want us.
The lost will come to us for help.
And we will connect the lost with their master.
And on that little quirky story, our meet-up came to an end.
My friends, it's been fun sharing the stories with you! On Monday we have a public holiday and I'm off hiking with a group of friends. So we won't have a post on the blog on Monday ... But I'll see you again later next week.
Loads of love,