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Dignity restored

May 25, 2016
By Pastor Roger Lemke (pineisland@breezenewspapers.com) , Pine Island Eagle

I went to see her. She was the oldest member of Fishers of Men at the time, some 98 years old and wheelchair-bound.

Her home was a veritable museum of 98 years of life: faded family photos, more framed pictures than the walls could handle and knickknacks galore. In the last few years, she began collecting stuffed animals which people thought would bring her comfort and which she gladly gave me to pass on to children.

She asked if I had my German shepherd, Sobo, in the truck. I replied "Yes." She said, "Would you bring him in, I would like to pet him." I did as she asked fearing that his 110 pounds might somehow end up in her lap. Sobo looked for a neutral corner in which to lie, but I called him to Mary. He sensed her frailty and stood about six inches away and slowly placed his head in her lap. She rested her hand on his head with a finger behind an ear.

I thought of Jesus who so willingly touched the unheralded, dishonored, socially and emotionally disenfranchised persons. Criminals? In some cases, yes. Disreputable prostitutes? Yes indeed. Farmers and fishermen? Most assuredly.

Why was Jesus attracted to them? Why did He not seek out the prestigious, the powerful, the nobility of His day? Jesus, sought out those who needed Him most, people who would appreciate a touch, people who needed their dignity restored. Darkened souls, who would need a spark of holy light.

Sobo touching the lap of this lady, and this lady touching his head, reminded me of "Michelangelo's "Creation of Adam." Life came with a touch. Bringing dignity and life to others with our touch is our mission.

I finally said, "Sobo it's time to go." She slowly bent over and kissed his head. She smiled because she felt that her dignity was restored. In like manner, so many dogs have restored dignity to others and perhaps that is why "dog" is spelled "God" backwards.

Roger Lemke is pastor of Fishers of Men Lutheran Church. The church is at 10360 Stringfellow Road. Call 239-283-1170 for service times and/or additional information

 
 

 

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