The Lost Sheep

We have a really awesome client that comes to the clinic on a regular basis. She also used to work here so when she comes in and phones are ringing off the hook it isn’t uncommon to ask, “Hey could you maybe answer that?” with a sheepish smile. She gladly does.

She and her husband have a nice ranch here in Cushing, Okla., with some cows, horses, cats and a few dogs. One of these dogs, happens to be a very special dog. Her name is Lolita. She is a 4-year-old blue tick hound. Lolita is a happy, friendly dog that loves to do chores, and pretty much everything else, with her owner. Lolita has given her owner comfort over the years and has been a much-needed friend. 

Photo provided by Lorena Bryant

Isn’t it amazing how close we can become to our furry friends? Dogs are amazing at providing comfort in times of sadness. They somehow know when we are sad and gently lay their head or paw on our lap or nestle close. When we are happy they sense that too and share in our happiness! God really did an outstanding job when he created such a wonderful companion for us.

Unfortunately, everything that makes them so great also makes it so difficult to lose them, especially when it’s up to you to make the decision to put them down due to illness or pain and suffering. However, the fact that we can end their pain and suffering and help them across the rainbow bridge is comforting. People do move past the grief and find refuge in all the good memories of their precious pet. There is closure.

But what about those pets that runaway, get lost or stolen? Where is the closure there?

Lolita is unfortunately in the latter scenario. Lolita went missing in early May and has yet to be found. Her owner has been searching relentlessly for her – under every rock, under every bridge, in every pasture and around every house in Payne County. 

I was thinking about her story the other day and her unwavering determination. She has been searching for Lolita for over three months now. I asked myself, “Would I have continued the search for one of my pets?”

When do you decide to stop searching?

Photo provided by Lorena Bryant

This reminded me of the parable of the lost sheep in Luke 14:4.

“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

This story of Lolita reminded me that God pursues us with an un-denying, unconditional love. Even when we are lost in life with varying circumstances, God is that steadfast. He WILL find us. We have to be willing to run back to him, even if it takes us a little while to find our way back home. 

I don’t think our client will ever give up on finding Lolita, in life or in her heart. I think she just wants that affirmation that Lolita is okay and that she will never give up on finding her, just like God never gives up on finding and seeking us. 

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