The Giver of the Gift

A neglected little girl sat alone on a hill in the gently blowing breeze of a summer day. Alone as she was accustomed to, she prayed and praised and worshiped God who loves her. She knew Him so well because she had so much time alone. And one day, after praying yet again for someone to love, she sees before her a stray dog. The dog is investigating who she is and needs a home and food. Knowing full well the pain of hunger and homelessness, she takes in the stray to her modest shack. The stray seems at home, though still disappears some nights. But she is happy for family and to have someone to love who needs her. One day, the stray does not come home. She looks and it has chosen a home down the street in a nicer part of town, as it is still a wild animal after all. The girl is heartbroken. Her new family, her dog she poured herself into for so long, her semi constant companion is gone, decided to throw her away and mock her careful care, another rejection in a long line of them. She thought he had been her gift from God, sent as she was praying to Him. Alone now, she mourns, she cries, part of her dies. And yet, there is a memory that returns. Her alone time with God on her hill. She had not been to that hill since she had brought the stray home. She remembered days past spending time just talking to God for hours, Him being the only One she could rely on so often. And it hit her that God missed her. He had given her the stray dog to show her He loved her so she would feel deeper love and appreciation for God, and here she had let the dog become her everything and her appreciation for the dog took over her appreciation for the Giver of the dog. So she understood. As she was feeling appreciation to God and spending time with Him again on her hill, she saw another gift from God on the hill, a sweet new friend. And she treasured her new friend but always first appreciated the God who provided her friend. The little girl always found time to be alone on the hill in the gentle breeze with God from that day on, never taking for granted the gift but especially the Giver of gifts. And she lived happily ever after.

Ode to Sheba

My Grandparents had a black lab/dobermin mix named Sheba on the farm in SW Michigan. She was gorgeous and looked just like a big black lab, I rode her as a child around the yard. We were buddies. She shared her doghouse with me and I shared lots of back scratches with her, her favorite thing. She had the kindest eyes you can imagine and a tail that wagged happy to see me but if too close could feel like a whip. When Grandpa and Grandma passed and we moved onto the farm, we inherited Sheba. She was rally my dog, since I was outside the most, and because of the tail situation and the farm’s muddiness, she was strictly an outside dog. So she would help me in the garden by sitting politely on the vegetables and help mom out with her flowers by freshly pressing them every day with her big tummy and she would only bark if someone new came o to the property. However, she had her heroic and quite amazing deeds as well that I am writing down to celebrate. She allowed us to have corn because she kept every sneeky racoon and every hungry deer in the woods away from our rows of corn. She cornered opossum and chased them away before they could harm anyone or anything. She was my constant companion on long runs through the woods and fields. She knew the way and led me several times in the dark when I lost track of time. She walked with me to McCoy Creek park and swam in the creek with me. We had a beautiful friendship. And of course there was the one time she saved my life. We were almost to McCoy Creek one summer day after chores to cool off and three big dogs came running after us with snarls and barks, up to no good at all. Before I could even tell her to, she grew about two feet of hair and faced those three aggressive dogs singlehandedly. They decided she wasn’t worth trying and turned tail and ran off. I gave her my steak that night for supper as a reward. So, rest well in doggie heaven, my beautiful Sheba, most loved and noble of friends! I still remember and love you!