Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Hard Places...

Going into classrooms that have children with special needs, very special needs, it's hard for me.  I don't feel like I'm very good at this part of what Chester and I do.  My heart gets stuck in my throat, and tears want to leak from my eyes, and I have more questions for my Heavenly Papa than answers.   If it wasn't for Chester .... his wagging tail,  I might peek my head in the door and then keep walking. I am thankful for my faithful buddy, Chester, who doesn't hesitate for a moment, and walks through the door to "his" kids.  I am also tremendously thankful all eyes are on him and not me. I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve. Chester is amazing, all he sees is more children to love on.  The boy has a gift!

After greeting the teachers, I follow Chester's lead, knowing he will take me to the child who is ready.  He heads to the little girl in the wheel chair, actually a wheel-recliner-chair,  who cannot lift her head to see, or reach her frail hand over the railing to pet him.  I give him the command "up" and pat the side of her recliner, Chester rises up gentle as a lamb ~ resting his big paws on the side of her chair, he kisses her on the cheeks, and she smiles with delight.  He stays for a bit while she lets her fingers settle into his soft fur. She cannot see, she cannot speak, but she knows there  is a big-ole,  very-sweet,  puppy-dog on her lap, who wants to be her friend. 

Chester makes the rounds, visiting first the children in chairs, then he settles down on the floor where a few children are lying down, with their teachers close by.  Chester chooses to nestle close to a teacher, obviously knowing she needs a hug today as well.  As she pets Chester, she tells me about herself and her classroom. While visiting, she  helps one boy throw a tennis ball.  Chester bolts for the ball, all of us forgetting how slick that floor is, he slides, knocking over everything in his path, but comes up with the ball, as if to say "ta-da!!!"  Teachers are laughing, students are startled ~ Chester is just having fun and being himself.   After the retrieving 101 exercise :-),  he spends the rest of his time laying on the mats, letting teachers and children rub his belly.  It's a rough life, but someone has to do  it.

Nothing like yummy icecream after a good days work!
Of course, it's unanimous, everyone wants Chester to visit again. Of course, we will. As we walk out the door, silently I pray, oh Papa, please touch these precious children with Your healing love, their teachers as well, encourage them with Your love & joy.  I hear Him whisper, I am.

Tears leak out as we walk down the hallway... I am humbled, humbled that Papa would pick me to hold Chester's leash, and go to the places, sometimes hard places,  that need a tail wag and a kiss from above.   

1 comment:

  1. You rock friend!!!!! I love that you are writing about your adventures with Chester.
    Great pictures.