GUIDE DOG TALES VOL 29
By Carolyn Dale Newell
It is surprising how people offer assistance when I walk with Iva more than when I walked with a white cane. I needed more help as a cane user than a guide dog handler.
On our drive to the beach, we stopped at Cracker Barrell, one of our favorite restaurants. Iva rested quietly under our table. One year ago, to the day, (October 8) Iva and I graduated from Guiding Eyes for the Blind. Her table manners are remarkable. I recall how much she moved around during meals at school. Plus, she had a taste for the chairs. I covered that in prayer, and God answered.
I finished my salad, so Iva and I headed towards the restrooms. Iva looked for an opening to turn left as I commanded her. Skreetchingg witches, autumn displays, and customers obstructed the aisles.
Joy, the hostess, approached us, inquiring about Iva. Joy’s love for dogs shone like the mid-day sun.
She offered to escort us to the lady’s room as the crowd thickened. I have never been so grateful because she warned us about a puddle of water the toilet splashed out in the handicap stall. Iva prefers it. I coaxed Iva into a smaller one, and Joy waited for us. Joy noted how Iva watches and protects me as she walked us to the door leading outside. She chatted a few minutes. I assured her we were fine waiting for my husband. Joy slipped inside, but she returned shortly to check on us.
We never require that amount of aid, but I could not deny her. I thought of all the times I have wished someone would help. Finding someone willing to go the distance like that is rare. I prefer it to the folks who walk right by thinking I see nothing. Yes, I see some of them.
Kindness is a fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23) like joy. Kindness costs us nothing. A smile to a stranger. A friendly greeting to someone at the check-out. A hug to the lonely lady at church. A few encouraging words to the cancer survivor. The hand supporting the gentleman unsteady on his feet. The arm that leads the blind.
Kindness appears to be minimal, and we forget to offer it. Our busy schedules restrain us from the few minutes that mean the world to someone else. Sacrificial moments enable us to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Who can you be kind to today?