It was Thanksgiving Day, I had just left a friend’s place around nine in the evening when I was stopped by a white fluffy dog running in front of my car. Like most drivers, I attempted to avoid running over a defenseless animal and since I never saw the dog get to the other side, I put the car in park and jumped out to see where it was.
This little creature, had circled to the back of my car and ran up to me wagging its tail and rolling on its back with its tongue hanging out. This dog thought this was a game. I was pleasantly surprised, but being in the middle of the road, I knew this wasn’t a safe place. I tried to shoo the dog away, but it wouldn’t leave me or the car alone.
In the process of trying to figure out what to do with it, it tried to jump into my car through the driver’s seat. I guess this dog had ridden in the front seat before. Haha. But I realized that was the only way to get myself, the car and the dog out of harms way.
Before long, I found some dog tags with a number. It was for a shelter. The shelter gave me two options, to drop the dog off at the shelter or take it home and they’d pick it up the next day. I opted for the latter instead of the former. This was a pretty easy choice since it was already nearing ten o’clock.
So here I was driving with this stray dog in the back of my car, wondering what and how my family would react.
Luckily, as soon as I had gotten home, my family members discovered that the dog had a second dog tag, which I had mistaken as a decorative piece with a name: Roxie and a phone number in tiny ten sized font writing beneath it. (Seriously people, you need to make that bigger.)
There I was back on the road, returning this dog to its owner, who was both happy and relieved to have gotten her precious dog back.
As I meditated on the craziness of this entire evening, it was as if God was telling me that one day, He will reunite us with our true family.
Thanksgiving holds a special place in my heart and each year it rolls around, my heart is both heavy and glad. Glad because of the sense of family reunions. Sad because I hadn’t always been at those reunions.
Living as a nomad for nearly a decade, one begins to adopt people into their circle of “family-hood”. Often times, the feeling of loss occurs when those people you hold dear leave, change lives and exit your life completely. And all you’re left with are memories of good times, in a folder on your desktop or a backed up file in the cloud.
Like this dog had experienced being warmly embraced temporarily by me, our lives will be warmed temporarily be the people who touch that special chord in our lives.
Eventually, we will have to let those people go. It isn’t to say that they didn’t matter, or that you didn’t care, it's just our lives are going in separate directions. If their paths ever cross yours again, the reunion will be as jovial as the first day they came into your life.
I long for the day, when our Heavenly Father will gather us together as a family, sharing that great feast as one, and we can all sit down for a real Thanksgiving.
But until then, I’ll love and cherish those in my “family”.