It's no secret Lacie and I love animals. We currently have one per 270 square-feet in our home. Lacie is excellent at picking them out, too. They're all rescues, and they're each awesome in their own unique way. I want to talk about one in particular, though, because she's taught me something about our relationship to God and to others.
We adopted Eleanor at a time when we were "just looking" at the humane society, as the story always goes. They were packed, we probably got an email about adoption, and Lacie convinced me to go. As we were passing each individual cage, dog after dog wagged and smiled and barked and practically said, "Pick me, I'm cute."
Not Eleanor. She was underweight, not clearly any particular breed, her fur was dull, and her demeanor timid. Joan Jett, she was called at the time, though she had none of the enthusiasm of the rock star she bore the name of. In fact, she just had her back left leg amputated. For all intents and purposes, she was a last round draft pick.
And she stole our heart. There was something about the sadness in her eyes. She was broken in every since of the word. Abandoned, probably hit by a car, not cute and bubbly like most of the dogs...she was, in our mind, destined to be euthanized. We asked to spend time with her in the side room, and we had to be careful because of her recent surgery.
We knew adopting her would be complicated, with potential health risks, not to mention the fact we had been talking about getting a golden retriever. We just couldn't walk away from her, though. In that moment my heart warmed to the picture of Gospel-centered love I saw through this small, hurting animal. That might sound dramatic to some, but hear me out.
Not beautiful or qualified by the world's standards. Broken. In need of rescue. Destined for death...
Chosen. Rescued. Adopted. Healed. Given a new life.
She's staring at me now as I right this, and I am grateful for the daily reminder of how God loves us. We are sitting on our patio, listening to the rain, enjoying the cooler temperatures for the first time this season, and she keeps turning around to look at me, probably just checking to make sure I'm still there.
And she's not perfect, much like myself. Let me tell you...she's chewed through our patio door, dug countless holes in the yard, used the bathroom inside, punctured through our screened porch, gotten mud on most of my pants...and I love her.
She's a joyful part of our life and an encouragement to not only see ourselves rightly (God chooses to love and rescue us) but also to be mindful of caring for the lowly we encounter in this life.