December 1, 2013 by Beth Hess
It was another face on the website that brought us to this particular shelter on this particular day. But we were not the only ones who fell for the Buckwheat Lab, so he was spoken for before we arrived.
As we moved past the other kennels, it became the combined job of the heart and the gut to help us find the right canine fit for our family.
She stood out to me for all the reasons she was different from the others. Quiet among the barking. Still among the tail-wagging. “The Dalmatian,” I said to my husband after the first pass by. She was nervous and shaking as the shelter staff brought her into the yard to meet us. Tail between her legs. Head down. But when my husband knelt to say hello, and she put her head on his shoulder, I knew she’d be coming home with us.
We named her Hope.
She had reason to be unsure of things. Recently rescued from Florida hurricanes and put on a plane to Colorado, there was no way of knowing what she’d been through. How long she had to survive on her own. What family she may have lost. How she was treated before the storms left her homeless.
It took time before she felt safe in the yard. Time before she stopped shaking. Time before she came to the call of her name with affection, not shame. Time before she could trust.
And I think that’s what hope is like. It comes to us a little skittish. A little burned from past experiences. But still believing there is a dawn from every darkness. Still anticipating better days. Still holding onto promises that were whispered in the dark.
And the light comes a little at a time until it turns to trust.
“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone…For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:2, 6 ESV)
He, too, I call Hope. The Hope of all the World. And of mine.