"And I will make for them a covenant on that day with the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the creeping things of the ground. And I will abolish the bow, the sword, and war from the land, and I will make you lie down in safety." -Hosea 2:18 (ESV)
Saturday we had a special service to bless some dogs. In between snacks for humans and treats for dogs we said some prayers, read some scripture, sprinkled some water, and blessed each dog. Though we were the ones offering the blessing, I’m not so sure, but that we weren't the ones who were blessed. You see, sometimes God turns things around when we least expect it.
We had gathered for what looked like would be a typical St. Francis blessing of the animals, but these were not your everyday animals. The participants this morning were service and therapy dogs (and their trainers and owners) that have been trained by a local organization called “Penny's from Heaven.”
These are dogs that have been trained to be living blessings. Some of them go out to nursing homes and hospitals where they minister to the sick, the hurting, and the lonely. Some of them go out to schools and listen to children read, giving their undivided attention. And some of them go to live with wounded veterans (inside and out) returning from war bringing unconditional love, peace, and protection. All of them are trained to meet the special needs of those they go out to visit.
And so we gathered and offered our prayers, and God poured out His blessing...in the laying on of hands and paws alike.