When did I first read that verse. Probably 50 years ago. Thanks, Ok, fine, next please.
I am a bit of a gypsy. I cannot count on all my fingers and toes how many places I have lived, nor addresses I have had since graduating from High School in 1969. I can count the states since graduation, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Washington state, Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, California. I have left and returned to most on several occasions. I have lost track of the number of cities. And the physical addresses approach 50. Never really thought much of that until 2-3 years ago.
Once again, my teacher was and is Tank, my dog of a decade. And the wisdom I receive from God as I plow through the days and the scriptures.
After my wife Michelle died in 2009, it ultimately became Tank and me. I lost “it.” And my job, my house and I lost most everything I owned. And for two years, 2010-12, I was “homeless”. I had a place to lay my head, and that was through the “kindness of strangers”. Actually through the kindness of friends who gave me a room and a yard and shelter for Tank. Two friends, two one year stints. Incredible grace. And grace I must write about at another time.
But this moment is to concentrate and meditate on “the place.” When I lost my home, Tank and I moved in with generous friends. I had my own room, and pretty much free run of the houses. Tank had a nice yard, and a protected place to sleep. But Tank could not sleep in my room… house rules. I accepted it, Tank accepted it. I was just not our place to argue.
Though there are many other details that could be shared, they too are for another time. I move to a moment in time around two years ago… while still living with my New Mexico hosts. I felt the tug to move yet again. But this time it was different. “God, help me find a place. I am 60. I will go where you want, but as for me and my dog, we would like a place. And if You don’t care, I would like for it to be the final place. While in and of the flesh. And while You are at it, can I go somewhere were I already have some roots? No more starts from scratch. I am weary”
There are stories squeezed in the cracks. But the Tulsa story unfolded like this. I called my friend beloved friend of over 30 years, Brad, and let him know I would be moving to Tulsa. “Brad, I know you are considering expanding your real estate portfolio. If you want to buy a little house, and let me be your renter, here is what I am looking for.” I shared budget, I shared preferred urban location. And I shared that I must prepare a place where Tank can live out his years with me. A nice yard and a fence. Please, or nothing at all. Thank you.
I had to have a place for Tank to be with me. Anytime he wanted to be with me. Tank has a choice. He is often by himself. Even when we are both in the house. This house. Casa Canine. He is Okay, it seems, with that, as I am Okay with it. But when he wants to be with me… and if that is EVERY night he can be.
That is where he is. Along with Fred my Bagel, Shelly my Teagle, and Bosco, my foster.
It could not happen if I did not prepare a place. THE place. It is heaven for us. And as I approach my future, I understand now, and I am so thankful for the eternal place prepared for me.
P.S. I have to brag and confess, the picture of Tank and me “asleep” on his behind, Staged, the best selfie I have ever taken with my phone camera. My short, fat right arm did good, I think. I am an actor. Blessings to you.