Walking by Faith Alone

A girl…her dog…and God

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          I first saw her near the Gershwin Theatre between Broadway and 52nd Street sitting, knees tucked against her chest with her dog beside her. She wore a bandana wrapped around her head and her dog’s wrapped around his neck – matching. What impressed me the most is the dog’s conduct. A large mixed breed, regally perched upright next to her, he was neither hyper or unattentive but assuredly beside her. A note, written on cardboard, rested between them, “Homeless, no job, need help.”

            My daughter Collier is about her age. How easy the two could’ve been sorority sisters had circumstances been different. Many thoughts traveled through my mind and heart. I actually passed her by but then turned back. Who truly knows if she really needs help or finds it easy to make a buck or two this way?

            Just the other day, I passed a group of women with the Humane Society. They were adopting out pets that had come from Georgia! It excited me to talk to them and the links that are taken to find homes for these sweet animals. A pair of Dachshund, a Lhasa Apso, 4 Chihuahuas,and a Bernese Mountain Dog, I had to contribute, especially since they were from my home state! The outlook was good the women told me. They had had over 50 applications that day. Each would be reviewed and hopefully suitable homes would be found. How did so many sweet pets become homeless?

            1 Corinthians 10:31, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

            I pulled cash from my backpack and returned to the girl and her dog. Saying nothing, I extended my hand toward her. She didn’t take the cash immediately. Her dog looked up at me. She did not. One eye was glazed and white the other seemed to roll freely around in her head, “Oh!” she reached up her hand, “Thank you.”

            I wanted to question her. Wanted to know how she and her dog ended up homeless. I thought of asking why didn’t she live in a mission home or where was her family but in reality, she knows more about homelessness than I do for she is and I’m not.

            Her dog nestled beside her as if to take a break from his watchman’s pose. There was a brown sack of food beside her that maybe someone had left for her. As I turned to walk away she asked me, “How can I pray for you?” I don’t recall anyone ever asking me such a question. Many have said, “I will pray for you…but never how?”

            Soli Deo Gloria – it is one of the few phrases I remember from my Latin class, although I had an amazing teacher at Dublin High School.  Literally translated, “glory to God alone” meaning  it’s all about God.  I often have to remind myself of this truth, usually on a daily basis. The reality of life is,  whether we like it or not, our lives are not about us. Easy to say but to live by it,  is a different story. Life is really about the ways we can live for God.

            My Dad has an amazing voice. One of my favorite songs that he sings “My Tribute” contain the words, “Just let me live my life, let it pleasing Lord to Thee, and if I gain any praise, let it go to Calvary. To God be the glory, to God be the glory, to God be the glory, for the things He has done.”

            “How can I pray for you?” Her words impacted my soul more than any sermon or devotion I’ve read in quite some time. I’m not sitting on a sidewalk in New York with my dog and a cardboard sign; yet, she wanted to pray for me. I actually wanted to sit down beside her and her dog and talk but time would not permit it.

            “The voices of a million angels, could not express my gratitude. All that I am and ever hope to be, I owe it all to thee.”

             In all that we do, in all that we say, allow us to represent you, Lord, and pass the glory to You.

Written by Nora Hatchett Almazan

July 4, 2011 at 2:34 pm

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