Easter is a special, holy day, and this story by Chris…no last name given. And I can’t even verify its accuracy…. but it illustrates how sometimes a simple experience teaches us lessons we need to know:

I want to tell you about an Easter event that changed my life many years ago. It reminds me that things are not always what they seem and that angels come in many packages. As our custom, my wife and I donned our new Easter finery and went to Sunrise Service, an uplifting celebration of the resurrection of Christ. Our new young minster read Scriptures on the Resurrection and a passage on faith, hope and love, with the emphasis on love. He spoke of the Lord’s sacrificial love to mankind, and then posed a direct question: “What do YOU do in appreciation of that love?” I felt he was speaking directly to me as he paraphrased William Penn’s admonition, “You will pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that you can do, or any kindness or love that you can show, do it NOW… Don’t defer or neglect it…You may not pass this way again.”

Trying to put the message out of my mind, I suggested to my wife that we stop on our way home at a local convenience store to get coffee. Carefully juggling the coffees (and a couple rolls), I got back into our car, but before I started it, we both noticed a man standing in front of the building. His clothes were tattered and worn. In fact he was tattered and worn and it appeared that he had gone in and gotten himself something warm to drink, since it was a chilly morning. My wife remarked that he probably didn’t have enough money to get anything to eat…probably true, but the world was filled with unfortunate people, probably primarily because of their lack of motivation.

The next thing I noticed was a dog hobbling up to the front of the building. Being a dog lover, I noticed that she was terribly thin… You could tell that she had been feeding puppies, and again my wife remarked that she was really undernourished, and how sad the situation was, that if she didn’t eat something soon, she and her puppies probably would not make it.

We just sat there and looked at her. We noticed that people walked around her, almost as if she was not even there. . We felt bad, but rationalized that the world was filled with needy dogs. We did nothing.

But someone did. The homeless man, whom we thought did not buy himself anything to eat, went back into the store. He came out with a hot dog, knelt down by the dog, and offered her the food. An elderly gentleman, watching from the doorway, spoke directly to the fellow. “It looks to me like both you and that dog need more than a hot dog. Let’s you and me go back into the store and while we eat a good meal, I will call someone who can help that poor mother.”

Suddenly the true meaning of Easter was made real to me….….it had taken a homeless man , a starving dog, and a compassionate stranger, to teach me a lesson in faith, hope, and love that has remained with me as I pass through this world but once.

We at the TLC hope all those, both two legged and four legged, had a very Happy Easter.