On April 1, I was introduced to three puppies (from a litter of 12) that were seized from their owners in court because of neglect. A rescue organization had pre-approved me and I was invited to come and meet these three puppies at a dog park in Newtown. As I sat on the floor getting to know them, one of the puppies kept coming over to sit on my lap. I anticipated adopting a female, but there was something about this male puppy; he seemed very loving and affectionate.
The woman who was assisting the rescue organization asked me to pose for an “adoption day” photo. Several minutes later I was driving away with a puppy on my lap. He looked up at me with his caring brown eyes and seemed so incredibly happy.
I chose to name the puppy “Caspian,” after Prince Caspian of C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia. Prince Caspian was once a refugee who summoned the kings and queens back to Narnia to restore the land and save the people.
As I played with Caspian I noticed something change in me: I was laughing more. His love and energy started to bless me in a way that is hard to explain. A few days later I saw a bumper sticker on a car with a paw print. It read: “Who rescued who?”
Caspian, the lab/golden mix puppy, may not realize it, but God has been working through him to rescue me. When I am tempted to take things too seriously, Caspian wags his whole body, not just his tail, and makes me smile! When life feels “heavy,” managing some of the challenges that come my way, both personally and as a United Methodist pastor in this season of “unknowns,” Caspian’s presence delivers unbridled joy and I find myself laughing out loud. This bouncing, happy puppy is indeed a conduit for the joy of the Lord! Nehemiah was right: “The joy of the Lord is my strength!”
Our God, who created this wonderful world and all creatures within it, wants us to be filled with love, joy, and peace. May we open ourselves to all the ways that God wants to shower us with blessings!