I met a wayfaring stranger last night. Only this time this stranger was not human, it was a limping Labrador. Well, I can’t be exact that it was a Lab; I’m not empirically able to determine a dog by its looks because God knows my ability to scout dogs is as inadequate as my ability to sniff, taste, and pinpoint the accents of various coffee.
Heading out for my usual workout (3/4 of a mile run followed by a ghetto playground routine), I exceled in pace and momentum. Right then, I had observed this harmless, yet harmed dog gingerly limping past me. I came to a full stop. “Hey come on, boy. Over here”, as I started gesturing that my arms were a safe haven of care and affection. I also used my pathetic inbred whistle to hopefully familiarize it to the call of a wanting owner. Like two lovers at first sight, we approached each other; I tried being playful- it was laying on its back with its four legs kicking up in the air. I checked its collar; there was no sign of its home or its master.
I was thinking, “Poor thing. I wish I could take you in. But I can’t. I wish I could be more effective in this situation.” All of a sudden, it was as if he could read my mind. He grasped his footing on the bare pavement once more declaring to part ways, and started hastening its steps. It made a sharp right turn into a nearby alley where my tracks of it had finally vanished.
With crumbs of evidence, and a scent of optimism, I couldn’t help but wonder if it would endure its following days. Where would it go? Who would it befriend? It was a lost dog- one that knew what it felt like to be found, but it had not comforted in that sweet thought entirely- I was his wayfaring stranger.
While I was not going to become its rightful owner, I prayed, “Lord, would you do for that dog as you had done for me”. Jesus found me as I was- a limping ‘lab’ experiment of this distasteful world; I was a formula for destruction- one that would bicker and manipulate good fortunes, and one that would sneer and jeopardize the construction of community and friendship. I was a wayfaring stranger until He found a home for me. He healed me and set me free once more; only this time I knew I was adopted; I knew my master; and I was bred in His redemptive power- I was loved in between.