In 2002, we moved the mobile home in which we’d been living for nearly 15 years from our rented country property to a mobile home park in town. This transition required us to find another home for our eight-year old dog, Gypsy--half Golden Retriever, half neighbourhood mutt. Our friends Barry and Gayle graciously agreed to adopt Gypsy, making their country home hers, where she could have the run of the yard and the attention of two energetic girls.
As though off on a light-hearted adventure, Gypsy was more than willing to hop into the truck with my son and me, her dog house and other meager belongings loaded on the back. We’d thrown in an old blanket we hoped would “smell like home” to her. When we arrived at her new digs, she happily snooped around the yard until she saw we were getting ready to leave. Then she tried to climb back into our vehicle with us. We literally had to push her out in order to get the door shut. It broke my heart to see her standing there watching us drive away, no doubt feeling forgotten and confused.
A week later, we visited her and she again hopped into the car, ready to go “home.” Again, we pushed her out and sadly drove away. How do you make a dog understand this is definitely in her own best interest? If she came with us to town, she’d be tied up all day or in a kennel, something she’d never had to do before. How I wished I could become a dog and speak her language, if only for a little while.
In those moments, it occurred to me that we all have our “Gypsy” moments. It was as if I could almost hear Jesus saying to me, “What you are feeling now toward Gypsy is what I often feel toward you. It breaks my heart to see you confused and hurting, but I know things you don’t know. Yes, I am leading you down a path you don’t understand right now, but it really is in your own best interest even though you can’t see it today. You can trust me on this, because although you can never become a dog or speak Gypsy’s language, I became a human for you. I loved you so much I became one of you and spoke your language. I can see the big picture, but I also understand the little picture because I’ve walked in human shoes.”
I’m pleased to say Gypsy soon felt at home with her new family. In subsequent visits, though she nearly wagged her tail off in welcome, she never again tried to go home with us. She lived out her days a happy, smelly old dog who loved people. She was lucky to have not just one, but two families who loved her so much.
Now, when I experience times of wondering what on earth God is up to, I think of Gypsy and trust the one who knows more than I. Gypsy may have never fully understood it, but guess what? One day, I will.