About five years ago, I was feeling lonely. The kids were grown up, one married and living out of state, and the other away at a local University. The house had grown bigger, many of the rooms were unused and quiet, and I longed for something to fill my time.
Shortly after the conversation with my husband, I met a new friend and was invited to her house for a visit. My first impression was a bit guarded. After all, don’t we make assumptions about others when we meet them? I remember looking into her brown eyes, wondering her life story. She was quiet and seemed nervous around me. I felt like I was going to have to do the work in trying to build a connection with my new friend. I felt like I was always the one that had to do the work, the talking, in relationships, but I thought if I want to build a connection, I need to do my part.
I sat down next to my new friend. I talked to her, and she looked at me with sad eyes. I wondered what the story was behind the eyes. Had she been hurt before by a person? What could have caused the emptiness I was seeing? As I talked, I gently reached my hand out and gently patted her. She drew away from me at first, so I worried I had gone to far too quick.
I continued to talk in a soft tone, she seemed to respond. Her eyes were changing shape in front of my eyes. They began to have a sparkle about them. I reacted by telling her, “When you smile, you’re eyes light up.” Her body language was started to relax. I was making headway.
I heard someone coming through the kitchen and looked up to see someone walking nearby. “How are the two of you getting along?” “I think we’re going to be just fine”, I said. He said, “Well, she’s had a tough time, so spend some time getting to know one another.”
I looked over at my new friend, this time giving her a soft pat on the back and said, “Girl, you and I will be just fine. I think it’s time you come home with us, and we will take good care of you.” Her ears pressed down tight to the sides of her head, and her eyes widened, and I knew she understood what I was saying. Her bushy black tail wagged with delight as she understood she had found her new home.
I know I’m biased. This dog of mine is special. However, the lesson is not special. When you meet anyone, a new dog, a new work colleague, a person in a coffee line, or a grocery store clerk, the reality is everyone wants to be treated kindly and loved on for who they are. Bella did have a rough start. We don’t know her whole story, but I don’t care. All I know, is I love her and always will. So, when you’re out and about, love others, smile often, talk to people, find out who they are and what makes them special, it’s a way to show others God through you. You may just find out, they’ll love you back!
Blessings Sweet Friends,