New International Version (NIV)
The Parable of the Lost Sheep
15 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. 2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”3 Then Jesus told them this parable: 4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
Last week I made a trip out to Midland to do some contract work. I drove so I took Ikey with me. We stayed in my previous condo which my sister bought from me. Ikey felt like he was "home". The doggie door was there and the best thing he found was that my sister put the bed on the ground for him. It had not yet been put on the rails. The box springs and mattress were just on the floor. He could get up on it with no problem! My bed is really I and I have to lift him on it every day so he can sleep with me. He was a happy boy. I sent my sister a photo of the every so happy Chihuahua who had gotten in the bed all by himself.
We had arrived on Tuesday. Wednesday morning I headed out to the facility where I would be working that day until evening. Ikey had the doggie door to go in and out so I did not worry about him. All was well.
When I had finally finished with the last home visit of the day, about 8pm, long after dark, I called my brother in law, who was also staying/living at the condo, to ask if he wanted me to bring him/us something home to eat. I said "whatcha doing?" He said "looking for your dog". I said "what???" He said "well, he was here, running in and out barking at the neighbor dogs. After a bit I didn't see him any more. I had left the gate fixed so you (me) could get in and he must have snuck out the gate". My heart stopped. I felt sick. He said "I have called him, looked upstairs in his bed, looked all around the complex and am driving around the neighborhood looking for him". I said "I'm on my way". By the time I would get home he would have been looking over an hour!
That was the longest 20 minutes EVER! I prayed the whole way. All kinds of thoughts went through my head. As I got closer, about 1/2 mile from the house, I called my friend Felicia, who lives close by and said "I need your help...Ikey is missing". She said "I'm on my way; we'll drive around".
As I got almost to the condo I drove around the block calling him, loud, often! I came up the alley, calling him, loud. I got out of my car and was going to go inside, get my jacket and comb the complexes (there are 3 right next to each other). I walked into the gate, calling him. I looked into the sliding glass door and THERE HE WAS, just sitting there looking up at me like "what...what do you want...why are you calling me all the way up the alley?" I pushed the door open and swooped him up in my arms, hugging and kissing his little face. I immediately called my brother in law and said "he's here, he's in the condo". He said "no way". I said "yes, he's here, he's ok". I called Felicia just as she was driving up to the condo. She and her daughter had been driving around the cemetery where we used to walk. They were so glad to see him. I thanked them.
I met Larry back at the house. He told the story again. He had looked and called and come back to the condo twice calling him. We were both just thankful he was home. We did not know if someone had found Ikey and put him in the yard or what. We were just relieved.
Latter that evening I went upstairs. I looked around the bedroom for Ikey but did not see him. He was not in his crate or his little fuzzy bed. I felt a bit of a panic. However, I found him. He was burrowed way beneath those warm covers of that bed my sister left on the floor for him! "Warm and toast and happier than most". And safe and sound.
God is good!
Encourage one another, continuing the journey on fresh paths.
Blessings and love from me to you!