May 5, 2024

The Shepherd's Corner

Oliver, our dog, has been with us for the past 15 years.  A neighbor found him wandering on the street and offered him to us.  We took him and ever since then he has been a part of our family.  He is now around 16 years old, or close to 90 years our human age.  He is not continent and is not as strong; there are days when he can walk but there are days when he just sleeps and cannot even stand.  Santy and I know that his remaining days on earth can now be numbered. 

Goodbye is difficult.  We, who came from other countries, must’ve said goodbye to our loved ones back homes.  However, as long as we know that the purpose for our leaving is good or positive, we can do it.  It is when we do not know the reason or we know the reason, but it is not good, it is not something that we expect, it becomes difficult.  We are not ready, and do not want to let go.  

In my ministry I have met many who had to say goodbye despite not being ready or willing to leave.  Consequently, they kept clinging to the same place or to the same life or to the same people.  Those who lost their jobs cannot find another job; those who lost their ministries cannot find another ministry; those who lost their love cannot find another love.  They kept wishing that they still lived that same life even though they knew it was merely wistful thinking. 

Our children have told us that at some point we may need to put Oliver to sleep.  We have not made up our minds yet because God’s willing, we want him to pass on at home, with people who love him, and he is familiar with.   So, the past few weeks we have begun to grieve, imagining a life without our beloved dog.  The other day Santy asked me whether we would ever meet Oliver in Heaven.  Since the Bible never says that dogs will not go to heaven, I said yes, we would meet him again. That means we will hear him bark again. 

 Pastor Paul

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