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A Dog Called Hobo

By: Patty Joyce

“Patty, I have a well-kept stray dog here. He has no collar or tag,” my friend Karen said in a concerned voice over my cell phone. “And, I’m working from home so I can’t take him to my vet to see if he’s chipped. I’m texting you a few pictures of him.” Being a pet sitter, I imagined Karen thought I may know who this misplaced dog belonged to. We both put notices on social media, hoping to alert his owner.

The temperature was 90+ degrees that afternoon, and neither man nor beast should have been aimlessly wandering outside. Feeling sorry for the poor pup, I offered to take him to my vet to be checked for a chip. When I arrived at Karen’s, he was on her back porch, his beard wet from quenching his thirst, and following Karen around like a forlorn child.

We put a harness and leash on him, and I took him to my vet. A technician ran her chip checker all over him—alas no chip—and no boarding room at the vet until an owner was located. Hmm, what to do? With three dogs of our own at home and a husband who had no idea I was adding “Hobo” (what I named him in the meantime) temporarily to our canine crew, I was apprehensive as I pulled into our garage. We were greeted at my laundry room door by JJ, Fiona Joy and Pippin John! Oh my…what a circus! Hobo and I then ventured into the den to greet my hubby. Being the dog lover he is, he readily began showing Hobo attention—which wasn’t too well received by the “three amigos.”

Karen said she would call some families who foster lost dogs, and someone else suggested calling the county’s animal services if no owner came forth. My tender, empathetic husband squashed that idea immediately saying, “Absolutely not! We will keep him until his owner comes forth or a foster family offers to house him for a while.”

Long story short—his owner did show up at our home later that afternoon. Our shaggy visitor was elated to see his master. In a scolding whisper, I urged him to get this precious animal chipped and to put a collar on him. He readily apologized and said he would do so for Benji (his real name). We bid our “Hobo” goodbye with mixed emotions, but also knew he was on his way home.

This situation put on my mind our relationship with our Heavenly Father. Like Hobo, we are lost without our merciful, loving God. There are times when the heat in our lives is like a blazing furnace, but like the three Hebrew children, there is another figure next to us (See Daniel 3:16-30.) We try well after well, hoping to quench our thirst for peace, hope, and love, but to no avail. And then, one day we meet Him, the One who knows all about us and our misgivings, and yet offers us Himself. When we receive Christ as our Savior, we have a chip placed on our heart—the seal of the Holy Spirit, which never has to be annually renewed. David, in Psalm 63:1-5 (NIV), beautifully describes how parched our life is without the Living Water who satisfies our soul:

“You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.”

Regardless of who we are, our stature in life, or our ownership of the finest possessions, we are all hobos until we open the door to the divine knock and invite Him in. He doesn’t condemn. He sits across the table with loving eyes and offers us life everlasting, here and forever.

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”

1 Peter 2:9-10 NIV

So, I ask you…do you want to continue leading a hobo’s life? The choice is yours. We, here at Divinely Driven Ministry, would love to share our hobo stories with you and how we found our forever home. Won’t you answer our knock at your door?

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