Monday, June 15, 2009

God on the Greenway: Hitch

For the first time in over a week, I got to run the Greenway again. Oh, the joy!! What bliss, peace, and freedom! I missed it almost as much as I miss the Galilean Home (I will be blogging about that very soon!). Each experience I have on the Greenway is great, but it was even richer yesterday since I had been gone a while! And, it was a comfort to remember just how peaceful and wonderful the runs are and that in some way, I can still have on the Greenway (as well as anywhere) what I experienced during my trip to the Galilean Home (it was absolutely amazing down there!). I just love the peace and the presence of God!

I had wondered, however, if being gone a week would drastically affect my running capabilities. I did take it easy (and walked some). But, overall, I ran pretty much the same (when I wasn’t stopping for geese - again - or for some other reason).

Aside from how glad I was to be on the Greenway and running again, there was the highlight of something that I have been waiting to blog about for some time. Time after time on the Greenway, I see a man walking/jogging with his dog. It’s not uncommon to see people exercising with their pets, of course, but what is uncommon is the fact that the dog is very uncommon himself. The dog only has three legs!

As I mentioned, I have been waiting for the right moment to blog about this inspiring dog. The time has finally come, because I finally got to meet the dog and his owner. It happened after I finished the first two miles and reached the end of the Greenway. Starting their walk/jog was this remarkable dog and his owner. I took out my earphones and spoke to the man, whose name is Mark. I told them that I have observed him and his amazing dog many times on the Greenway and that I wanted to finally meet him. Maggie and I had once watched Mark and his dog go past us as we talked on the bench. Maggie had thought she heard him call the dog “Hitch.” She’s right. The dog’s name is Hitch. ;) Cute isn’t it?!

Mark told me that he had gotten Hitch from the vet and that he was about 7 months old. He’s a medium sized dog. He’s some kind of mix (of which he couldn’t say for sure). All of you know that I am not a “dog person”, but Hitch sure captures my heart and attention! I told Mark about how much seeing his dog inspires me as I watch him run and that I longed to finally write about him. He said lots of people have told him how inspiring Hitch was to them. Then, he said something that really stood out to me. He talked about how Hitch has no concept of body image; that as a dog, he doesn’t care about any of that and just runs and plays. How true that is!! Hitch probably doesn’t even know that he’s “different” from other dogs or that he is in any way limited by the loss of his hind leg. He just keeps on being Hitch!!

I was so blessed to have gotten to meet Mark and Hitch (and I even petted the spunky little pup!). Looking at that little furry face, and seeing how much he loved life, was so touching to me! It made me think of all the wonderful people at the Galilean Home and how they too had the spirit of Hitch. They didn’t care about what they looked like or their disabilities. They are fully present in their lives; they are carefree and full of life (and they love Jesus)! That’s something that most of us without any kind of handicap can’t seem to grab hold of. We who consider ourselves “functional” probably actually function a lot less than they do. We are so busy and wrapped up in ourselves, and the world, that we forget how to really “be.” In fact, that’s something I struggle with myself. I get so thrilled with every experience that I have that I can’t wait to blog it. Then, I start thinking about what I will say and I miss being fully present in the moment because I’m thinking about blogging the moment later. It drives me nuts! LOL I wish I were better at shutting off my thoughts and being more in the moment!

If it’s one thing that the Galilean Home (and Hitch) has communicated to my heart, it’s the fact that you can have peace and joy. Stress can melt away when you stop “thinking” too much and just enjoy living in the moment that you’re in. What a gift it is to be comfortable in your own skin and enjoying the life you have; no matter what it looks like!

Additionally, I’m also wondering more about Hitch and his story. Mark said he got him from the vet. Where was Hitch before, and how was it that he only had three legs? Was he born that way or did something happen to him? Was he abandoned because of it? Whatever the case, it’s obvious that Mark’s heart saw that no matter what was “wrong” with Hitch, his life still meant something and he rescued him and took him home. Praise God that Jesus is the same way with us!! We all have “hitches”, but Jesus never turns away and leaves us! He loves us no matter how “defective” we are! He rescues us and claims us for His own and helps us to overcome all our “hitches.” Every life is precious to Him! EVERY SINGLE ONE!!

There is great freedom in knowing who we are and WHOSE we are. Our Father makes level paths for us (Proverbs 4:26) so that we get along “without a hitch” as often as possible. But, when we do have those bumps in the road, they’re there for a reason. The bumps make us aware, help us slow down, and force us to make repairs when our mode of transportation breaks down. Those “hitches” are lessons learned and wisdom gained! They’re not always stumbling blocks; they’re building blocks! Dealing with “hitches” develop our character, and we deal with them through the loving help of Jesus Christ!

Grace and peace to all of you!! May every “hitch” teach you something about God, and yourself! And remember, you are a dearly loved child of the King; no matter what! Your personal “hitches” aren’t handicaps! You can do anything through Christ (Philippians 4:13). You have value and purpose! Embrace it; “be” it!! Be you; the wonderful you that God created you to be!! God bless you all!!

No comments: