Friday March 15, 2019 was a difficult day for my family. That was the day that Kristy and I decided to have our beloved, nearly eleven-year-old Dachshund, Oscar, put to sleep. It was a painful experience. As we waited to see the Doctor, seated off to ourselves, fighting our nerves and trying to keep our composure, we noticed an older man with a cane walk in. The older gentleman got my attention because he was in a Veterinarian clinic without an animal. After he spoke to the receptionist, he sat down a few chairs away and immediately began to make small talk with Kristy and me. Under the circumstances, I was a nervous wreck and not in the mood to talk, much less meet a new friend.
My wife was kind and had a conversation with him while I didn’t give much attention to what was said. All of a sudden I was struck by the change in the conversation. The man’s tone changed as he spoke of losing his wife and how much he missed her. He now had my undivided attention. He told of how his wife would fuss at him for the way he filled the ice trays, because, according to her, he didn’t do it right. Then he said, he’d love to hear her fuss at him again about those ice trays. It was clear that he desperately missed his wife as he urged us to cherish our time with those we love.
The kind man got up and, with the help of his cane, made his way to the door. As he walked out the door, he turned to Kristy and me and said “that’s the message God wanted me to share with you today”. Kristy and I both just looked at each other not knowing what to think or say. My heart was still breaking knowing I’d soon be saying goodbye to Oscar. But, this stranger helped me realize how blessed I am that my best friend and wife was sitting right next to me. I lost a good friend that day, but I gained a new perspective on cherishing those I love while I can. We don’t have ice trays at our house, but, I’m sure Kristy can find plenty that I do wrong, and I’ll be more than happy and thankful to listen to her fuss at me about it.
God knows what we need. I knew it, I believed it, I preached it and it was inspiring to experience it. “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him”(Mt.6:7-8).