Thankful Notes (#249)

Instead of leaving as quickly as possible for work this morning, I spent some time in the kitchen making breakfast. I carried over two plates with hot food over to my dad’s house and we sat at his table for breakfast and coffee.

Camper and I left together for the office and she rode with her back legs on the back seat and her front legs on the armrest between the two front seats and her head on my arm.

It’s her version of riding shotgun and I pretty much love the snuggles.

While working in my office, I received a text message from a friend asking if I had lunch plans and how many staff members were working today. We usually have half of our staff working from home on Thursdays during the pandemic, so I told her I didn’t have lunch plans and there would only be 4-5 people at the church. Her reply made my day:

“Can I bring you Popeye’s spicy chicken sandwiches? ”

And I was all, “Um… CAN YOU??!!?!?!! Oh my, that would be wonderful.”

About 30 minutes later, I heard a car pull up behind the office building. Lunch had arrived.

While eating my delicious Popeye’s spicy chicken sandwich, I wrote next week’s family devotions—an online and printed resource we’ve been providing since not holding in-person church services. In one of the devotions, I told one of my favorite family stories…

When I was a kid, I saved up my money to get a puppy. She was a Brittany Spaniel and we named her Gretchen (weird name, I know). We took Gretchen to dog obedience classes and they said we needed to purchase a long leather leash. It was kind of expensive.

One day, when my sister was going to take Gretchen outside for a walk, she couldn’t find the leash. My parents asked all four of us kids who took the leash or left it somewhere. We all said it wasn’t us. Then we started blaming each other.

I was convinced my little sister did it. My parents seemed to think it was me. But nobody would confess. It was a mystery…

Until a few days later when my dad told me I needed to go outside and pick up all the dog poop in our yard. I went out with shovel and picked up Gretchen’s poop and I noticed something strange – her poop had all these chunks of leather in them!

We discovered that Gretchen had eaten her leash. We were blaming each other, but it was the dog who had hidden the leash from us.

So that’s the story. The devotion was about not playing the blame game with one another, but instead looking for what God is doing.

I might have giggled a few times while writing the story and thinking about parents from the church reading it to their kids.

For some reason, I was thinking today about possible book titles for this strange time we’re all in. Immediately the words “A Year Without Hugs” came to mind and I realized how much this introvert is missing human contact. Camper snuggles are great, but really I miss church hugs and high-fives and fist-bumps and taking someone’s hand to pray with them.

Another random thought I had today was about The Police song “I’ll Be Watching You.” I wondered if anyone has made a pandemic parody of it yet… “I’ll Be Washing You” as the singer looks at his hands. “Every germ you touch, every nose you wipe, I’ll be washing you,” or something like that.

When I came home, there was a short break in the rain, so Shari and Camper and I went for a quick walk around the neighborhood. Ashah was in the kitchen making homemade pizza for dinner. After the walk, I sat with my dad at his house watching some car restoration TV shows while waiting for dinner. A few minutes later, I see Ashah waving through the window – indicating dinner is ready. Cue the hallelujah chorus!

“Touch seems to be as essential as sunlight.” —Diane Ackerman


I am a husband, father, pastor, leader & reader. I love God, love people & love life.

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