by Megan Jones
I am a strong woman. I have a tattoo to prove it. On my inner right wrist are the characters for “strong woman” in Kanji that remind me every day of who I am, who I long to be. I am independent and even a little stubborn.
It is hard for me to ask for help, even when I know I need it.
I know people who are like me, and I love them—but come on! How frustrating is it when someone you care about insists on going it alone?
Fred, one of my three dogs, snuck out of the backyard a couple of years ago, and as soon as I noticed, I ran into the alley calling for him. He has done this before and never goes very far. But this was different.
Searching for Fred
I ran to the front yard thinking he would be at the gate waiting. He wasn’t. I searched the neighborhood, calling his name. Nothing. I thought that he would show up, but hours passed and it was getting dark.
I live on a busy street in a big city and Fred is little. I cried a lot, but didn’t ask for help.
Late that night, a friend told me that I needed help. She didn’t ask what she could do, she told me what we would do together.
Flyers went up, lots of flyers. Social media sites were alerted. We went to parks and shelters, veterinarian offices and hospitals.
For hours she drove me around the city, to help me find my dog.
Days went by and as I walked the neighborhood, people told me they were on the lookout for Fred. People I’d never met were offering me help and I was so very thankful.
Six days after he snuck out, Fred returned to me. He was safe and happy to be home. I wish I hadn’t wasted so much time “handling” things on my own.
God surrounds us with all that we need. Sometimes we have to be vulnerable.
How have you been vulnerable lately?
The Rev. Megan Jones is an ELCA pastor. She lives in Chicago, is a voracious reader, and a lover of team trivia. She cares for three English Springer Spaniels, including little Fred. This first ran in November 2012 as a Give Us This Day column in Gather magazine.