THANKFULLY, GOD provided an incredible family who opened their hearts, house, and yard to her. She had a home for as long as she needed one. Far and away this has been the greatest (observed) blessing of our journey. It has allowed us to only miss her, instead of worrying about her as well. She is so well taken care of that we're certain she is better off with them than she has ever been with us - and we spoil animals pretty well! As an added bonus, they have a black lab. Reyah (friend) was originally added to our family to be a companion to our beloved black lab, and we are thrilled that she has a new black lab friend to love.
Seeing them always makes me think of my beloved chocolate lab, sitting fat and happy in Texas while living at the home of someone who runs a pet store of all things. She's got everything she needs, though she always thinks she needs more...fetch.
A few weeks ago, while I struggled with the distribution of wealth in the world that leads to over-abundance in some areas and poverty in others, the LORD taught me a valuable lesson through Reyah. When I encounter poverty and see it in contrast to my comparable wealth, guilt immediately grips my heart and I feel somehow in the wrong. Now, this is not a conversation about excess. This is about feeling guilty that I have a full stomach, a place to sleep, and clothes to wear when others do not.
I was struggling with this concept after leaving the orphanage one day. Then the LORD showed me a starving dog, whose leg had been severed off in a recent accident. It wasn't fair. How could my dog be safe, full, happy, and so well loved, when this dog was in such a situation? However, I did not at any point think that it was wrong for Reyah to have these things, I was simply upset that this dog did NOT. THAT was the wrong. Yet moments before I was distracted by guilt and was flogging myself, thinking that I needed to be without simply because others were. Guilt is a cruel motivator, keeping the focus on myself instead of others. This illustration helped me see the situation more clearly. My response should not be motivated by guilt, but by Love. A response in Love is praising GOD for HIS provision in my life, and being inspired to intercede through prayer and action for others. The difference seems subtle, but such matters of the heart never are.
This metaphor of the dogs with and without has helped me everyday to fight off the evil motivator of guilt when surrounded by poverty. It is GOOD that my needs are met, and other needs should be met as well. All dogs should be loved, cared for, exercised and well fed. All creations on earth from human to animal should have their "daily bread." That is GOD's will. It is HIS love that causes my heart to break when these needs are not met. My heart does not break so that I will flog myself, but so that HE can reach out through me to meet these needs, motivated not by guilt but by the far greater power of LOVE. I am so thankful for how GOD teaches us through HIS creation.
Oh, and Reyah? We love you and we'll see you soon!