Guide Dog Tales Vol. 29

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?

 

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Throwback Thursday: How to Comfort the Hurting

 

HOW TO COMFORT THE HURTING

And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you; that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”    -Luke 22:31-32

 

I want to thank the mom with the wayward child who comforted me when my child went astray. I want to thank the blind man who inspired me when I realized I may go totally blind. I wish these people could have been spared their trials, but they were able to help me because they had gone through the same thing.

When Jesus told Peter to strengthen the brethren, He knew that Peter would deny Him. He also knew that Peter would become a strong preacher, and that he would help restore John Mark (Acts 15:36-40; 1 Pet. 5:13). He knew that Peter would write epistles to suffering Christians and that he could teach them and help them because of what he had been through.

God has many purposes for our suffering. One of His purposes is that we may give comfort and strength to our Christian brothers and sisters. Possibly you are going through something right now. It could be an illness, a financial hardship, a wayward child or a lost loved one. There may come a time when you are able to help someone who is going through the same thing. You don’t have to give them any answers, but you can tell them about God’s grace. Remind them that God will never leave them and that He gives peace that is beyond our understanding.

It may not mean much to you right now to know that later on you may comfort someone else, but when you reach that point, you will thank God for the ability to help them. They will be thankful for your encouraging words. It is amazing how God enables His children

to bear one another’s burdens.

Copyright 2013 Carolyn Dale Newell.