Life’s Lessons

Happy New Year

By Helen Guilford - For the Expositor

Once again, it’s time to look back over the past year, then stand on the pinnacle and peek into the coming one. In our hindsight, we will observe both good and bad times – times we wish we could have extended indefinitely and times we rue ever having happened.

The new year? We will see much of the same. Not necessarily the same challenges or same mistakes, but both good and bad times. Times we would like to take captive so we could live our lives in the “good” stuff and times we hope not to see.

It’s been a while since I talked to you about Kelly so I think it’s time for that. Anyway, this story is just too good to keep. My apologies to those of you who have already heard it.

A dear friend took me to The Barn Restaurant at Archbold for my birthday dinner. We took seats at a round table at the 3 and 6 o’clock positions. Kelly settled in quietly between us. After our server came, we got our salads and settled back in the same positions.

As we were eating our salads, a couple came to sit at the table just behind me. I didn’t notice, but Kelly and my friend did. She said nearly as soon as they were seated Kelly’s tail started wagging. Then she quietly slipped over to be with them. That’s when I noticed.

I turned to bring her back and both individuals asked me to let her stay. Since she was really close, that wasn’t a problem.

With the salad now history, I got up to get my food and again they asked me to just leave her with them. Now, I never, ever leave her with strangers, but I sensed, as Kelly already had, they really needed her company so I left her.

As we ate, the couple continued to enjoy Kelly’s company. After a while, I felt a tap on my shoulder. The gentleman handed me a piece of paper money with instructions to “buy her something nice for Christmas.” I smiled, accepted, and thanked him.

So the meal progressed. We finished about the same time, and as we parted company I learned what had really transpired.

They had lost a daughter some years ago in an auto accident. As a result of that, they had inherited her dog and had kept it these many years. The dog must have had a wonderful life with them because it lived to be 21 years of age.

I don’t know what this had to do with the Christmas season, if anything. The passing of their dog did not seem to be a recent incident but, for some reason, they needed to share their story. Kelly brought it out. We had a nice visit and parted as new friends for having spent a short time together.

Now, my point in this story is that Kelly sensed their need and made herself available. It was as though she had a call on her life at that given time. As a result of her sensitivity, we were able to comfort folks who needed to share.

As we look ahead into the new year, let’s try to be more sensitive to the needs of others. Realize this contact just might be God’s call upon your life for that given moment. Through that unexpected interaction, perhaps someone will see Christ through your actions and/or words. Another soul rescued for eternity! One of the GOOD things of the new year.

If we are each more sensitive to the needs of others, we may experience fewer “bad” or low times because God has used us to lift another. Watch and listen for God’s call upon your life and it will lead you into a Happy New Year.

Happy New Year

By Helen Guilford

For the Expositor