Our beagle, Mollie, was abandoned by her previous owner. She had been kept outside, apparently in any weather. We had a series of thunder and lightning storms yesterday so she kept close to me. She doesn't whine or make a sound during these times, but her eyes are always on me, and if I go to another room to get something, she sneaks behind me to keep me in sight. Mollie is not a "let me get in your lap" dog, but she will gratefully sit next to your leg and keep looking back to be sure you're still there. When I notice this, I try to comfort her, that she's ok, she's a good girl, she's not going out in that nasty old storm...and she will lick me hand and resume her position of waiting until I move again. This reminds me of a story I read recently by Barbara Johnson-
Last year, as Operation Iraqi Freedom was getting started, a TV reporter was interviewing...a unit with a special assignment...."We operate just behind the front lines," the officer explained,"and our job is to provide a place where soldiers can come out of the fighting for a while and rest. We set up tents and make them as dark and as comfortable as possible. We fill them with cots, and the soldiers come off the line to us as they can, day or night, to get some rest". It wasn't just the dark tents and waiting cots that created a safe haven for the men, it was their fellow soldier's assurance that they were standing guard to protect them while they slept.
How like our Heavenly Father assures us! "You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety." --Job 11:18
As far as Mollie is concerned, she is learning to trust us a bit more each day, knowing she will be fed, loved, and taken care of if she is hurting. It will take a long time to see if we can ever erase the memories of the abuse she has suffered through. We continue, one treat at a time.