She looked at me with those big, beautiful, brown eyes. She was shaking and rubbing against me. It was as if she was asking, “Why are you doing this? You really aren’t going to leave me here? Don’t you love me?” I wanted to cry. I had little choice. We were going on vacation and needed someone to care for our dog, Anna.

Choosing a kennel is not easy. I know it sounds silly. You want to find a place where they will treat your dog as if it was their own. Anna knew something was up the day before because we kept mentioning that she was going on vacation. Does it sound strange that this was exactly what we hoped it would be for her?

Over the years we have checked out several kennels. We looked at the reviews and the websites. We searched for photographs. It was reminiscent of the days when we were looking at summer camps for the kids. We wanted the best for our little girl ... I mean dog. Well, actually, our pets are part of the family, aren’t they?

Years ago, my boss at Ben & Leo’s Supermarket told me that the most profitable section in the grocery store was the pet food aisle. He said people treat their pets better than they treat themselves. I have to admit that Anna is the queen in our house. We work our schedule around hers most days.

So I checked Anna into the Pet Resort & Spa. (I’m not kidding about treating her better than I treat myself. I’ve never been to a spa before!) She was nervous. When they called her by name and said, “Anna, can I show you to your room?” I knew she was going to be in good hands. It was all about trust.

Trust is a concept we take for granted. Yet, trust is earned. We’ve been going to this same kennel since 1999. We have always had good experiences. If things had been different, we would have gone elsewhere. That’s how it works. Very few of us believe in the three-strike system when it comes to important things in life.

That’s what is so amazing about God. He is the author of second chances. He has trusted us with the Gospel and sent us out to share the Good News of God’s love with the world. He didn’t do a background check. He didn’t stalk us and make sure we were worthy. He simply trusted us to do the right thing. Did he make a mistake?

God doesn’t have a plan B. He gave Peter the keys to the kingdom. That is a big responsibility. It is ours now. He trusts us to share his message of grace and hope with the world. So let’s not let him down. As we kick off a new season in our churches, let’s be the body of Christ in the world. Let’s show God that he made a good choice in trusting us. Befriend the sinner. Be the light. Offer hope. Give grace. Love with all your heart. Make God glad!

The Rev. Cal Lord is pastor of Central Baptist Church in Westerly.

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