Seeing the best in people isn't always easy. Since the kennel allows me to see people with their dogs, I often see a side others do not. It's that soft, squishy side - the one that baby talks to our pets.
She showed up on a blustery, icy winter day wearing clothes that were certainly not appropriate for the weather. One might say they wouldn't be appropriate for humans to wear period. It wasn't hard to see why she was the subject of scandal.
At that time, I didn't know the scandal, I just saw a mismatched couple in every sense of the word. And their dog. They sure loved that dog.
Over the years, I got to know her better. And her dogs. She seemed to have many. Then her husband got sick. Then he died.
Her husband plucked her out of a seriously bad situation. Like the dogs she rescued from the pounds, she was redeemed by love, even if it looked odd and maybe questionable.
After he died, I saw her make some terrible choices. She just couldn't pull herself together. We had some interesting conversations.
But sometimes I think I should have done more.
It can be a tricky, trying to decide just how much to get to know a person, and what you may say to them. If I could have one more conversation with her, I would have reminded her that the love her husband had for her didn't die. Love never dies. God is love. God's Son, Jesus, showed up in the flesh, suffered horribly and loved abundantly. He redeemed our pain. His love never dies. His love redeems.
I hope she knew that somewhere deep in her heart. Because it's true for her and it's true for me and it's true for you.
In case you didn't know that, or maybe you just forgot, it's true. He's there, waiting for you to bring that pain, loss, doubt and stumbling blocks. Just don't wait too long.