He and his sister were found left to die in a bucket of water. His sister was quickly adopted but he was much worse off and probably wouldn’t make it. The vet who found them, after a few days found a home for the male puppy. But it didn’t work out and he was brought back to the vet. He was heartbroken that this little life had been through so much in a mere eight weeks but Otis finally found another, forever home. Now years later Otis is happy, full of heart and grateful love for his owner. Otis seems to bear no grudge toward whoever left him in that bucket to die. He lives a life of gratitude. My wife tells me she has never known a rescued dog that didn’t feel that way.
Last Sunday I retold again the greatest rescue story of them all. Standing before the congregation I read Matthew 26:14-27:66 taking us in those 128 verses from Jesus’ betrayal to the sealing of His tomb. I can almost hear the hard “thud” of a heavy stone being rolled into place with the accompanying total darkness which would have filled that cold, stone crypt. At times I found it almost impossible to continue reading as Jesus’ situation became more desperate, more hopeless with each moment.
I am a rescued dog. I had no future. I had no hope. I was utterly lost and no one wanted me. When we are surrounded by family or friends it is hard to realize that. But the day came when, 1500 miles from anyone who knew me I awakened with that realization. It was then that for the first time in my life, I began to feel warm, gentle and totally undeserved acceptance. I found a willingness to adopt me by the One whose hands bore the wounds of that time I read about Sunday. Each time I remember at what terrible Cost I was adopted I must push the tears back that, welling up, render me unable to speak.
The Christian life is a life of gratitude. I am a rescued dog. One lifetime is not nearly enough to repay the debt of love I owe. Christianity is not about denominations, liturgy, meetings, dinners, building programs or programs of any kind. Christianity is about rescue, tears of gratitude and the desire to bring pleasure at any cost to the One who has given us our Forever Home.