So while we were home in February 2019 (our first evacuation), my mom had gotten me a copy of Mary Oliver's book Dog Songs which is a collection of poetry. I think it took me all of a half hour to read and fall in love with it. If you love dogs you should probably get ahold of this one. But God really spoke to me in one of the poems in particular (Spoiler alert "Luke's Junkyard Song" is the one I am referencing).
A little backstory- Alex and I rescued a puppy from the street we live on. She was about eight weeks of age and full of bugs and possibly diseases. In Haiti she is the equivalent of a rat running into your house so people were screaming and afraid and beating her with a PVC pipe. It is not AT ALL because Haitians are bad people but because a lack of understanding and a true lack of resources to care for sick little dogs like this (who could cause your family rabies or pass on parasites to your kids). We heard the sound of something screaming outside our window and actually thought it was a child at first. We rushed to see what was going on and quickly realized a tiny little puppy was making these big, traumatic noises.
Alex knew he could not just sit by and do nothing but I was hesitant. Not because I don't love dogs (because I so do and it makes it hard on us here) but because there are so many dogs and I cannot save them all and helping seems overly exhausting. Plus once we have saved this puppy- we cannot bring her around our other dogs (you know there are three of them now). But Alex could not ignore it so he went out on the moto to find the screeching puppy who took off down the road. I stayed inside partly because I was not feeling well, and partly because I know this is too much work.
That lasted all of two minutes when I realized this was something my husband was passionate about and I was not being supportive because it all seemed like an impossible situation. Conviction set in and I promptly got up and went outside to find Alex on the puppy hunt.
She was not hard to find- I could hear her screaming a couple houses down following a WHAP. I rushed over there just in time for her to run out under a gate and right into my feet. I scooped up this pitiful little puppy and knew (beyond all understanding) that somehow this was the right decision.
Alex searched for a momma or an owner looking for their lost little dog but with no results. She was so chill we began calling her Poze which is kreyol for relaxed or calm. We spent hours picking off ticks- at least EIGHTY the first day and over NINETY more the second day. Her poop was full of worms and she had open, clearly infected wounds from her various beatings. We drove an hour with her on the moto to the vet and got her examined. He was not sure if she was going to make it but he agreed to work on her for us. After searching here in Haiti for someone to care for her with no luck, I decided to make a post and reach more people. Not too long after the post I received a message from someone in the states who wanted her and was willing to help with all expenses including a flight for me to fly home with her!
To make a super long story much shorter- little girl was very sick. She developed a full body fungal infection from her wounds and it made it impossible to vaccinate her with what she needed to go to the states. Then the manifestations broke out and things escalated quickly causing us to leave the country and this pitiful puppy to stay in the hands of a couple young Haitian men.
They cared for her well! I was so impressed and so was Alex who got a whole extra month with her while I was still in the states. She healed up well and we got her vaccinations taken care of and her health certificate. She was ready to go to the states with Alex except for a few hiccups like flights, the health certificate being in my name when Alex checked in, and finding a place for her to stay the one night Alex was in the states before we left at 4:00 A.M. the next day.
I am happy to say Poze made her way to the states and her fur-ever home after being fostered for a week by the people who covered all the costs for us to be able to save her and get her healthy. Her name is now Allie and she is no longer the pitiful little puppy but more like the Powerful little Puppy! So where does this original book reference come into play? I'm getting there...
In "Luke's Junkyard Song", the last two stanzas Mary Oliver writes:
Though the worms kept biting and pinching
I said no to saving her. I said no to searching for her even when Alex said yes. I was completely justified in rejecting her because we do not have the means or funding to rescue dogs, because she is not a person, because she might infect our other animals. The list could really go on and on. God used this moment to show me many things. I am more likely to say no when I should be saying yes- fear, anxiety, planning are all factors in my need to control.
Saying yes to the puppy was what we needed to do to position ourselves to say yes to a little guy we were asked to take on a week later as an emergency placement. He would end up changing us forever, as do so many people you meet.
What is keeping you from saying yes to what God has for you?
What is keeping you from saying yes to loving people?
What is keeping you from loving yourself enough to say yes and get in your word?!
What is keeping you from saying yes to intentional?
When we said yes to what God was calling us- He was provision. He made a way every time there seemed to not be one. He was in control more than my worries let me think. Who or what is the junkyard puppy in your life? I know a lot of times its myself and my dreams. It's the stories I do not share with you all about what Haiti is doing to us. "A junkyard puppy learns quickly how to dream"... let it flourish like Allie did. Find your yes, find your why, find whatever it is God is calling you to- you never know what He is positioning you for.
It is simple really:
"LISTEN, WHATEVER YOU SEE AND LOVE-
THAT'S WHERE YOU ARE." -Mary Oliver
There you are, living in the moment again. The moment for which you were created.
You never know what God can accomplish through the most unlikely of things; to Poze our little junkyard dog- we thank you for being the vessel God used to teach us He moves in all things.
The biggest lesson I am taking away from this (especially a year later) is I am the junkyard dog sometimes. God could have said no to me and been completely justified. But he didn't. He looked at pitiful ole me and saw worth. He calls me His masterpiece even when I am nothing. He said yes to saving us and sent us His one and only perfect Son to die on the cross so He could say yes despite our sin. If you do not have knowledge of how deep or profound this love runs- let me walk you through how to say yes to Jesus.
Pray and ask forgiveness for all the wrongs in your life.
Tell God you want to follow Him and you accept Jesus into your heart.
Say Amen and know you are God's yes.
Then Abide in His EVERLASTING Love.
Kristen & Alex Bradshaw