Prone to Wander…

Zoe the Prodigal Dog

 So, late Sunday afternoon, in the middle of The Masters, my parents’ two dogs decided to take off (the nerve!).  Well, let’s just say there were some cannons fired by some unfortunate neighbors across the water, which sent them running.

As a dog’s owner, you feed them, shelter them, love them, and provide for their every need.

How do they repay you?  By running.  When they run, do you sit on your laurels and teach them a lesson!  Nope!  You search, call in reinforcements, and stop and nothing until they are found.

My mom was out of town, so it was up to my dad to round up the pooches.  Eventually, he found his pride and joy, Zeke, but my mom’s beloved dog Zoe was no where to be found.

Late Sunday night, our whole family was texting and praying and waiting and hoping that she would come home.  I went to bed and had crazy dreams all night of my family in rescue boats searching for her.  (Years ago, Zoe WAS rescued in a boat from a swamp in Pungo, which is why I think I dreamed about boats.  Another story for another day…)

Anyways, I’m happy to report that Zoe was found yesterday morning!!  A nice neighbor took her in late Sunday night and when she let her out to go to the bathroom, Zoe took off, once again, and found her way back to my parents’ front porch.

Dogs running away are something that our family is all too familiar with.  (Remember Neely’s jaunt through Old Town, Alexandria?)  But despite the inconvenience, there’s a love and a passion that ensues when your dog goes missing, where you stop at nothing until you find them.  I’ll be honest, I don’t even like Zoe most days, but the thought of her not returning broke my heart.

Thankfully, she came back!  And when she did, was my dad angry?  Nope!  He was relieved and grateful to have his prodigal dog back in his home, where she belongs.

As we enter into Holy Week and prepare to celebrate Easter–the culmination of the Christian holidays, I can’t help but think of the love and sacrifice God bestows on each one of us, His children, even though in spite of everything He does for us, just like a stupid dog, we are prone to wander.

Yet, in spite of our sinful, messy lives, and our tendency to run, Jesus came down to be with us and to save us.  He died so we could live.

Let me say that again: Jesus died so we could live.  

As I let that settle on my heart, I’m humbled and embarrassed that just a week ago, I was talking about my rut and how I wasn’t “feeling” God.  But even on the driest of days, when I have nothing to offer, He waits.  He searches.  And time and time again, He’s there ready to welcome me back in.

Do we deserve it?  No.

Can we earn it?  Certainly not.

But He’s there.  He died for you and for me and He would do it again.

Thanks be to God!

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.