Appearances of Grace

Many people were dressed in black as we gathered for the Celebration of Life. Flowers were placed, the guest book was ready and the screen scrolled pictures of a life well lived. We came to celebrate the life of Karen; to grieve and to honor the gift God gives us in life on earth. Her roles were many, her zest for living contagious. Friends of old and new shared stories with one another. A family with heavy hearts held hands to strengthen their spirits for this day. We dressed in black to express our mourning, and black allows the Light to shine so well.

When he walked through – also clothed in black – we didn’t think it was that odd. There is a ministry here for such as him and there are people who come each week with helpers. Perhaps he belonged to one of these. He walked right through the crowd and slipped into Asbury Hall as if he knew exactly where he was supposed to go. He sat down. Handsome, strong and solid black. He made no sound. He was not confused or lost. He was present.

Someone guided him out a few minutes later as the music began and people were settling into their seats. We looked at his tag. With a CT address and a Predators symbol on his collar, we followed the clues and called. His master was hiking near the creek. He said he would come to claim him. We explained it to our visitor: “your master is on his way so just sit right here and he will come to claim you.” Our friend – solid black – sat down and waited. He knew.

As the service began and the stories were shared, Karen’s love for animals became a consistent theme. Her daughter carries on the tradition through her work at a local vet clinic. She even remarked that the dog looked a bit familiar. I wonder. I wonder if she is going to be at work one day and see the dog that attended her mother’s funeral? I wonder what it was that compelled this handsome creature – all clothed in black – to find his way from the creek, into the building and all the way over to Asbury Hall – to be present at this celebration of life.

Sometimes blessings just walk through the door and find their way to the spot they have been summonsed to go. We don’t always have to understand why. Appearances of grace…and a Master that is always ready to come and lead us home when our mission is complete.



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