faithful (adj.) 1.) keeping faith; maintaining allegiance to someone or something; constant; loyal
Every Monday is late start at the high school where our kids attend, starting at 8:30 instead of 7:30 in the morning.
Every Monday, for the last few years, I have seen an elderly gentleman in a red plaid flannel shirt, riding a scooter, while holding onto the leash of a slow walking brown lab.
That is the picture of faithfulness.
I wondered if the man coaxed his gray muzzled dog to stay active, or if was the other way around. Either way, the image was one that endeared me to Monday morning drop-offs.
Yesterday, I saw the man in the red flannel shirt with his dog on their usual route. As he turned left at the corner, I made my usual turn in the opposite direction. I glanced at my watch. I had some extra time. I made a u-turn, then went back through the intersection, and parked ahead of where the man was slowly rolling. “Are you having car troubles?” He spoke in my direction.
“No,” I smiled. “I have dropped my kids off at school here for the last few years and I love seeing you and your faithful companion. It is such a beautiful example of loyalty that I wanted to stop and ask if I could take your picture.
He smiled, removed his hat and started telling me all about Sadie. “She is a rescue dog.” The man, I later found out was named Dan, stated. “I have had her for the last 4 years and ever since I brought her home, she never left my side.”
Still, gently holding onto the leash, he continued, “I’m 91 years old and she is about 11. I try to take her out twice a day and we go for about 2 miles. Have you been to the pond lately?”
I shook my head side to side.
“They have a new pair of nesting geese,” he smiled and combed his fingers through his thick hair before returning his hat.
With a catch in his throat he mentioned his wife had been gone for ten years.
“I am so sorry,” I replied, seeing the deep loss..
Sadie wasn’t the only one rescued.
When we saw the street sweeper heading toward us, we ended our conversation, shook hands, and I hurried off.
For the last few years I had wondered what his story was, every one has one, sometimes it is just a matter of slowing down long enough to ask. I am so glad I did.
I thought of the freshly baked muffins that sat on my kitchen counter. I wished I had put a few in the car to share with Dan. Thankfully, I know where he will be next Monday morning.
What about me? About us? How do we show faithfulness and loyalty?
In our relationship with others and with the Lord, would our picture be worth a thousand words?
“Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, and write them on the tablet of your heart.” Proverbs 3:3