"Whiskey" - Before and After
"So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.’ But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began."
I have a rescue English Cocker here right now named “Whiskey”. Whiskey was found wandering the streets of a Chicago suburb. He was so fat he looked like a whiskey barrel with legs, hence his name. Whiskey was pretty scruffy when he was found…dirty, matted, in need of serious grooming. I groomed him up with the help of a friend and underneath all that curly, matted fur was a beautiful boy! With the support of the English Cocker Spaniel Club of America (ECSCA), the national breed club of which I am a member, Whiskey was treated by a vet for a severe bronchial infection and he is now recovering here at “Golden Gait”, surrounded by all his new friends. Whiskey is happy to be clean, fed, cared for, and loved….but you know what? I think I am just as blessed to have had the opportunity to give, to love, and to help a soul that was lost….and now is found. What joy it brings me to think I was able to play even a small part in helping to “save” his life.
We don’t know the circumstances surrounding how Whiskey got lost. Perhaps he had irresponsible owners. Or, maybe he finally figured out a way to escape his yard so he could chase that cat! (Whiskey is a big time cat chaser). No matter the reason, the fact still remains he was lost…and in need of rescue.
Sometimes I think we too get “lost”…sometimes on purpose, sometimes through circumstances which seem out of our control. We wander about, looking for “home”…empty, hurting, hungry…hungry not for food, but for love. We often try to fill this void with all the world seems to offer, only to discover we are left unsatisfied still…empty, wounded, and searching again.
There is one who sees our wanderings, who sees our emptiness, who sees our pain…he is our heavenly Father who yearns deeply to “rescue us”. The parable of the prodigal son told by Jesus shows us a Father who saw his son while he was “still a long way off” and he delighted at his son’s return home. He didn’t care where the son had been or what he had done, but only that his son was home. The Father’s desire was to shower his son with blessings and affection and love, for his son was lost and now was found! How great was the Father’s love!
Do you need rescue? Do you feel lost? God doesn’t care how you got where you are….whether it was of your own doing or through circumstances out of your control. No matter the reason, God desires to rescue you and to welcome you home. God is not the evil “dog catcher” in the sky who wants to put a noose around your neck and lead you away to “jail”. No, God is as Jesus described Him…the Father who sees you from still a long way off, who feels love and compassion for you, who wishes to run to you, to embrace you, to kiss you and to care for you. If you can see God like this, you are probably more likely to “come when you are called”….and to be rescued yourself….like Mr. Whiskey Barrel.
In Christ and covered in dog hair,