Does every encounter you have with another person, every exchange, every chance meeting, every smile, every word spoken in frustration, every sadness shared, does it happen for a reason?
A special post from the heart of Adena Lowry, one of the Writers Group at North Pointe. Einstein said, “There are only two ways to live your life: as though nothing is a miracle, or as though everything is a miracle.”
A Long Goodbye
My dog, Griffin, is sick.
I think we’re putting him down next week.
I’ve been saying goodbye to him for a few days now, drinking him in, watching him, talking with him, hanging out with him, scratching him behind the ears, unsure of how I’m going to do life without him.
Even as I write this, the tears start to flow and I have to pause to get through it.
A Neighbourly Dog
I love that silky eared, golden-eyed, whale breath dog.
I’ve been walking around our neighbourhood twice a day for the last fourteen years with my golden labrador. We’ve met so many of our neighbours.
Even this morning, on our meager walk of three houses down, three houses back, we stopped to chat with two neighbors. Griffin wagging his tail, happy to have a chance encounter with anyone, sponging extra pats on the head, rubbing his furry body on someone’s pants, slobbering just a little on their hand.
He loves people…
What has this perpetual furball – this faithful friend who tugs at my heart – taught me about living?
3 Things I Learned From Griffin
1. Spend each day with quiet time.
My daily routine includes getting away with Griffin on a morning and afternoon walk. During this time, we often find an uninhabited park, solitude on the golf course, or a street of silence. No matter rain, snow, or shine, we’ve been out promenading the neighbourhood.
Griffin does say much as we walk, and I’m often left with time to be still and reserved, my thoughts turn to God and prayer. Griffin is so polite, as he never interrupts, just nicely walks along, sniffing, following our usual route.
It has given my time to reflect, prioritize, steady my heart for the day to come. I’ve had time to talk to God, give him my worries, my concerns, and my thanksgiving. I’ve had time to cry out to Jesus and praise his name all in the same moment.
2. Invade the space of others, whether you are welcomed in or not.
Griffin does not wait to be invited into your garage, your yard, or even your front porch, if you are there, that is invitation enough. You may not have even spoken to him, but there he is, in your space. And since he is here, you might as well stop what you are doing and have a conversation.
People need to know that they are not invisible.
You may not know it, but your little interaction may be the encouragement to help someone through the day. People don’t often know that they need to have a connection, but once they have experienced the contact with even a complete stranger, they somehow feel different, better, akin.
3. Wag your tail and be friendly.
Tell people they are important by your actions and excitement to see them.
Griffin is such a happy, goofy dog. He’ll see you from across the street, or you’ll simply be walking past our house, and he’ll think that you are coming just to see him. It makes him feel special.
I often think he believes that the only reason you exist is to come and visit him.
I’m very grateful for the people I’ve met along the way in our neighbourhood. I’m thankful for their kindness, the treats they’ve shared with my dog, the time taken to pause and chat and pat.
We need community.
I know we’ve experienced something special here.
APPLICATION: Thank you neighbours. It’s been a wonderful 14 years. So thankful. Adena, Stephen, Micaiah, and Griffin Lowry. Please leave a comment for Adena and her family.
I write to inspire people to be real, grow an authentic faith in Jesus, enjoy healthy relationships and discover their life purpose. If this material is helpful to you, please follow me.
- Subscribe. I’ll put helpful content into your email box on Mondays and Thursdays, as well as upcoming events at North Pointe Community Church, Edmonton, Alberta.
- Follow on Twitter. I daily tweet info I think you’ll be interested in.
- Friend on Facebook. If you “like” my page, let me know you found me here.
- Connect on Linkedin. I like this because it reminds me what people think I’m good at.