Making change to changes to keep a new friend


I am less than enthusiastic about change! But I still have to admit, change can be good.

The changes in format and seating in worship services? I don’t like those. I liked our antiquated ways of doing things. I liked having a friend sitting near. I liked having a bulletin for order of worship in my hand. I liked our “meet and greet” time in the service.

But, that has all changed if we are to conduct worship services in a safe manner during this pandemic! I don’t necessarily like all these changes, but I can accept them because they are designed to keep each one of us safe when we meet together to praise and worship our Lord and Savior.

Last week I told you about my new dog, Jackie, and how at a knock on the door and the appearance of a stranger she changed from being a quiet, calm friend like a soft spring afternoon to exhibiting all the cataclysmic energy of an F-5 tornado and would not be placated. From that, I determined I would need to return her to the humane society. I did that the very next morning

Though I don’t enjoy walking any more, I actually missed walking her all over the back yard for her to “go potty” – many times a day. I missed calling her name to see where she was (and what she might be doing!). I missed her being sprawled on the sofa (the first dog I’ve ever had that got on the sofa with permission). I even missed having her take up more than her share of my queen size bed!

But I got tough. It had to be done. I did return her to the humane society – much to everyone’s dismay. However, someone there thought that ultra protectiveness could be trained out of her. I left her, but with a trainer’s contact information in hand.

The next afternoon Jackie and I met with the trainer at the humane society. We worked with her in their fenced-in exercise yard. She exhibited a willingness to learn and to change. The trainer affirmed that if I was willing to work with her, she could be trained out of her problem.

I brought her home again! (That was a good change.)

Well, as you can see, we had already bonded so my willingness to work with her was not a question. Since the problem seemed to be that she is over-protective, a whole lot of socialization will be required. That’s okay, too, and attending church regularly helps with that because each time she is likely to meet someone she doesn’t know.

I’m still wondering how this will help when unexpected visitors come to the house. I guess that is a “wait and see” question. So, you see, she and I have some work to do. I’ll try to get her to the place she never meets a stranger – meaning that she perceives everyone to be a friend she just hasn’t met before.

So we are beginning a journey that will make us into a team that will bring delight to many in a nursing home, just as Kelly did for several years, but there are still changes in our future, changes on the positive side. With the promised help from our trainer, we still covet your prayer support as we begin this journey.

With God’s constant presence and a desire to succeed, nothing is impossible (Luke 1:37). Stay safe, and live life as it has changed for all of us due to COVID-19. Remember change can be good!