Safely on board

I love a good dog story, although it wasn’t always that way. I used to be a teensy bit afraid of dogs – until we got one.

A year into marriage, my husband and I adopted our first ‘child,’ a yellow lab named Max. She put us through the paces that year. You can read one story here.

But she’s turned out to be an awesome dog. Loyal, good-natured, plays well with kids – she’s a huge part of our family.

Our dog Max

Our dog Max

I walked her this morning and happened to glance down at Max’s new collar. It has her name and our phone number embroidered on it. I bought it after losing one too many of the dangly metal charms somewhere in the yard.

I don’t know why, but somehow my mind went to a verse in Isaiah.

See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands (Is. 49:16)

We lay claim to those we love, don’t we?

Just like the dog collar identifies Max as ours, God identifies us as His. He even went so far as to engrave our names on the palms of his hands.

That’s not much of a dog story, is it? Just some ol’ reference to a dumb dog collar.

But don’t go yet. I do have a story to share.

Early in their marriage, my brother and his wife adopted a dog they named Maple. They were living in Juneau, Alaska, at the time, so Maple started her life in the frigid north.

A year or so later, my brother took a job in Washington, D.C. Maple also made the move.

My brother and his wife had to change planes en route from Juneau to Washington. I can’t remember which airport, but details, schmetails.

Anyway, their incoming plane was late, and my brother and his wife only had a few minutes to make their connection. They were a little panicked about Maple. What if the airline didn’t transfer her in time? Where would she end up?

Out of breath, my brother and his wife made it to their seats. The plane was cleared for departure when the captain came over the loud speaker.

“Just a second, folks,” he said. “We’re waiting on some precious cargo.”

You can guess what the precious cargo was, can’t you?

A few minutes later, a flight attendant handed my brother a piece of paper with Maple’s claim number on it.

“Don’t worry,” read the paper. “I’m safely on board.”

The plane pushed back and all three of them arrived in D.C. together.

I get teary-eyed, thinking about those few minutes when my brother and his wife didn’t know if Maple was going to make the flight.

It may seem silly to get all worked up about a dog, but I like thinking about all the people who made it possible for Maple to end up on the right plane. She arrived safely, thanks to them.

How about us? Are we helping others on their journey? Are we pointing them to the one who’s engraved their names on His hand?

For those who’ve placed their trust in God, eternity with Him is our final destination. He’s laid claim to us, and we are His. Don’t lose sight of that. Don’t hop on the wrong plane. And do your best to help others on their journey, too.

Let’s talk: Any heartwarming dog stories to share?

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