This month I am celebrating seven years since I first came to pastor Beausejour Community Church. It’s also been seven years since I started my first blog, The Land of Promise. This is the third and final reblog from those old posts. Enjoy…
Last night – December 21st – I finally went out to do my Christmas shopping, mostly for my beloved wife Liza. Of course she gave me a hard time about how she had started her Christmas shopping in the summer, and has already completed buying all of her gifts for me, the kids, and everyone else. “Why do you always wait until the 11th hour?” she asked as I was walking out the door. “Eleventh hour? That would be Christmas Eve. This is December 21st! This is barely 9:45!” Anyway, late or not, my Christmas shopping adventure was under way!
Now I suppose I should let you know – for those of you who maybe don’t know Liza and I that well – that she loves to shop, and I do not. Shopping to Liza is a past-time, recreational activity, and something she does for fun. Shopping for me is – get in, and get out, as quickly as possible, before someone (or someone’s feet!) gets hurt.
So the shopping began, but it was not about to be completed – not tonight anyway! About five minutes into my mall invasion, the cell phone rang. It was Caleb (age 10 at the time), and he was crying. He handed the phone to Liza, who proceeded to tell me that our dog – our eight month old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel – had ran away from home. The kids came in from playing in the back yard, and little Cooper was gone. And so, I had to hop in the van, and race home (trying to follow the speed limits as much as possible, of course, being the good law-abiding pastor that I am!) and help Liza look for the dog. We searched for over an hour, but to no avail.
That’s when I ran into a guy who was out for a walk about two blocks east of our house. Hearing me calling out, “Come here, Cooper!” and realizing that I was the missing dog owner, he proceeded to tell me how he had witnessed an accident about an hour previous where a little dog was hit by a car. Oh no! How could I tell the kids? I couldn’t! Four days before Christmas? And one day before Austin’s birthday, when he was going to take Cooper to school for show and tell? Impossible. However, I called off the search and headed home, and called the emergency animal hospital in Langley. But no one had brought in a little Spaniel. However, they took our name and number and would call us tomorrow if we heard anything.
When I tucked the kids in, of course they were all crying. It was only about 6 months ago when our last dog, a black lab cross named Buddy, had also run away from home – or he was dog-naped, we’re not sure. We prayed and trusted that the Lord would keep Cooper safe, and that we would find him in the morning.
Well, when we woke the kids up and started getting them ready for their last day of school, Hannah was crying again of course. But just as we were walking out the door to take the kids to school, we got a phone call from the animal hospital in Vancouver – someone had brought Cooper in last night, and he was alive and well – praise the Lord! I quickly dropped the kids off for school, and took Hannah for a road trip into the big city to pick up Cooper from the animal hospital. He was perfectly fine. Perhaps he hadn’t been hit by a car after all, only a little shaken up after almost being hit. So after having a little chat with the doctor, the receptionist handed me a bill… for $207! Yikes! I was almost tempted to let them keep the dog… but then I thought I really didn’t need that Apple 4 Gig I-pod Nano Blue with a thinner design, a brighter display and up to 24 hours of battery life and 1000 songs in your pocket that I had been drooling over from the Best Buy Catalogue… Christmas is all about the kids and their happiness after all, isn’t it?
So… praise the Lord for our Christmas miracle! We got Cooper back today in time for Austin’s birthday, and in time for him to bring Cooper to school for show and tell, and of course just in time for Christmas holidays. “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10-11).
Merry Christmas everyone!