Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 (NIV)
Since Sky died last month, Lucy is different dog. With no canine sister, she is lonely and seeks companionship from us. While she was always loving, now, she is constantly after us to pet her and be close to her. When we have just come home from work or are busy with something, her neediness is annoying. But, we discovered that all she wants is to be touching us and if she lies beside us and we rest our feet on her, she is content. A Doberman shaped ottoman! She also does not like to be left at home anymore. Today, as a Board member of the nonprofit that runs our local farmer’s market, I needed to attend the opening day of market. I decided to take Lucy, and we headed downtown. Lucy has never been very outgoing so I was worried about how she would act in the crowds. She did not get the socializing that we normally give to our puppies because of the time in our life that she arrived and because she had Sky to play with. Today, she was a little shy and occasionally hid behind me when people, like a young man in a motorized wheelchair, tried to pet her, but as long as she was with me, she was not afraid. I know it was a new experience for her, but she walked confidently beside me taking in all the sights and waited patiently while I talked to friends and vendors. I met a wonderful family who has started a lemonade stand at the market to raise funds to feed hungry children. Leah, their 8 year old daughter, has a dream of being an “orphan feeder,” and the whole family is involved in this new business that is also a ministry. They had to overcome hurdles to open including health department inspections, licenses and equipment purchases. It was inspiring to me to see how hard they work, but how willing they are to do it because they know that they are going to impact lives of children around the world. Husband and I also have a dream, but we have not been as courageous as Leah’s family. We want to start a program to send food home from school on Friday’s with children in our community who are on the free lunch program. Teachers are noticing that these children come in listless and hungry on Monday mornings because they are not getting the two meals a day (breakfast and lunch) that they get when school is in session. The red tape of working with our school board, the amount of money it will take and the number of children in need has seemed overwhelming to us and paralyzed us from moving forward with our plans. Seeing Leah and her family so hard at work today and watching Lucy overcome her fear of strangers, reminds me that I can do this for I am not alone when I follow Christ in obedience.