A week ago at this time I was sitting where I am sitting this morning. At that time I was waiting for nine o’clock to arrive when I would be able to call our veterinarian about taking Buddy in for surgery. The events that followed on that day are recorded here: My Times Are in Your Hands
During the past week I have struggled without success to find closure on the death of this companion who I often referred to as Mr. Bud. I have been praying throughout the days for something, exactly what I did not know, but something that would allow me to experience one final burst of emotion followed by a confident peace.
This morning my prayer was answered in a way that only God could design. After the briefest of searches to find a scriptural passage that fit this morning’s happenings, I found exactly what I was looking for in the last 5 verses of Psalm 66.
16 Come and hear, all you who fear God,
and I will tell what he has done for my soul.
17 I cried to him with my mouth,
and high praise was on my tongue.
18 If I had cherished iniquity in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened.
19 But truly God has listened;
he has attended to the voice of my prayer.
20 Blessed be God,
because he has not rejected my prayer
or removed his steadfast love from me!
For context, I should explain that God has, through this book A Little Book on the Christian Life, by John Calvin, instructed me this week on the concept of doing good for others if for no other reason that, be they enemy or friend, they are made in the image of God.
And so I have been contemplating for several days on how I might best do good for the homeless that have only in recent years become visible in this small town.
It was with these thoughts that I left the house at 5:30 this morning to take my son and two of his friends to the beach so that they could skim board at sunrise.
After dropping them off I stopped at a 7-11 for a doughnut and cup of coffee. Seated on the little ledge outside the shop was a man who could be described as somewhat disheveled and unkempt. He had a small plastic coffee cup in his hand and responded in kind to my morning greeting and handshake.
It was easy for me to connect the dots and construct the idea that God was using this man as a way of confirming what he had taught me during the week. And so I gathered up a few things that I thought he might be in need of. I ended up with a medium cup of coffee with packets of sugar and various flavored creamers, a sausage biscuit, and a milk.
I paid Kathy for the items and walked outside. I was happy to see that he was still there, what with all of these things in my hands. But when I offered each item he politely declined and told me, “I’m good.” It was a little awkward, but not overwhelmingly so.
I put the tray and bag on the passenger seat and thought that I might find someone to give them to on my way home. I was only a few blocks from our small downtown and thought that I might come upon someone if I drove through it. But there were no people there.
Leaving the downtown area I was left with a six mile drive down a 6 lane boulevard that led to my neighborhood. I had driven only about a mile down this section of road when I saw a man on the opposite side of the roadway walking in the same direction as I was driving.
I went past him and made a U-turn, then pulled onto a side street that he was approaching. I rolled my window down and told him I had a breakfast and asked if he wanted it. His already friendly face lit up and he answered joyfully in the affirmative.
So we did the opposite of a drive up window, with me handing him first the bag with the biscuit and milk, then the tray with the coffee, sugar, and creamers. His hands were full so we were not able to shake hands.
I was ready to drive away, but before I did I asked him what his name was.
He replied, “Bud.”
And so comes the closure for which I had asked God in many prayers. And with closure, peace.
My present state: grateful.
May our God bless you this day,