A Brand New Start by Elizabeth Motes
It was January 1973. The windshield wipers on our Chevrolet station wagon were doing everything they could to keep the deluge of water from blocking the view of on coming traffic. The temperature outside was dropping fast. We hoped to be safely home, warm and dry, before the streets outside turned to ice. Living in Wichita, Kansas, icy streets were no surprise, yet thoughts of home were foremost in our mind on this cold winter night.
We felt relief as we neared our street. “Plop – plop – plop!” The windshield wipers struggled to do their job. Then suddenly we saw a medium sized, soaking wet, Cocker Spaniel dog standing in the middle of our lane of traffic looking defiantly into the car’s headlights.
My husband skidded to a stop within inches of the scared animal. Amidst pleading from the children and me, my husband got out in the heavy freezing rain to try and persuade the dog from the street. “Mom, it’s lost!” Five year old Sherri said from the back seat.
I got out of the car to help persuade the dog from the middle of the street as cars whizzed by. She feebly wagged her tail as I made inviting whistles and pleas. After several minutes in down pouring rain, I slowly inched my way toward the sad looking dog, which was obviously lost. Finally, I was close enough to touch her. I gently pulled her into my arms. Without hesitation, I walked back to the warm car with the trembling animal. I whispered soothing words to her as I eased her into the car.
After plenty food and water, we gave her a bath and dried her, discovering a beautiful coat beneath the matted fur. We gently treated her swollen, bleeding paws and allowed her to rest through the night. We placed an ad in the local ‘lost and found’, hoping to find a desperate pet owner, but received no response.
We waited several days for the telephone to ring. She had no identification tag, so we named her Ruffles. She quickly moved into our heart and was a gentle playmate for our children. Even though we were not looking for a dog, Ruffles was a part of us and we secretly hoped no one would claim her.
Our wish was granted, the Motes family adopted Ruffles. A tattered, hungry, frightened dog had given up all hope that cold January night, but within a few hours she had a new life with a family that loved and provided for her. It was a new beginning.
Perhaps someone reading this today feels there is no hope. The world has battered and abused you and you feel so lost and alone. If there is a hunger in your soul and you feel wounded and crushed, there is hope for you, my friend! Jesus will take your tattered garment and replace it with a new one. He will feed the hungry soul and heal your wounds.
Isaiah 61:3 tells us, “To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.” Is that wonderful or not? No matter where we are in life – no matter how battered we are, or how deep in sin – Jesus gives us beauty for ashes! I call that a good trade!
“You do not understand!” You say. “I’ve done too much – gone too far – God would not be able to clean me up!” Isaiah 1:18 says, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet; they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” He rejects no one! Jesus is willing to rescue. He allows a brand new start! He is listening for your call.