It was chilly and rainy out here yesterday. We needed the rain, and it made for a really nice Sunday afternoon, to stay in and be cozy and dry by the fire.

We have an apartment on our property that we finished out for the use of whomever is/will run the horse operation out here. Currently, it’s our daughter, Maddie, who is an equine therapist, and horse whisperer extraordinaire. She manages the ranch, and all its four-legged occupants, which, sometimes include animals that are not ours. For instance, we had a border collie that showed up out here last fall, and after a couple of days, she located the owner. Just last week, there was an errant Black Angus heifer that stayed for a week while she worked with the sheriff’s department to locate its home, and spent a great deal of time scanning the area’s cattle ranchers. So, yesterday, it was no surprise when she pulled out of her apartment’s car port, only to discover two heads popping up from over her hood to say hello.

Black and tan male, and white female, German Shepherds.

That were sopping wet and reeked of skunk.


Knowing they were just trying to get out of the rain, she scanned the scene for any collars or tags, and, since there were none, pulled on out, figuring they’d move on toward home when it stopped raining. But, as luck would have it, they spent the entire time she was gone circling our house and looking in every window, making Riley incensed, and making me feel bad for enjoying the warmth of the blaze.

They are still here this morning, which means that they will have to be checked for microchips, which also means they’ll need baths before they can be transported. We don’t know of anyone around here with Shepherds, and these are nice dogs. Somebody owns them.

You know, sometimes it’s a lot of trouble to help out, and I’m not just talking about wayward animals. People show up on the doorsteps of our lives, too, many times covered with a stink we don’t want to touch. Maybe it’s an inconvenient time, or, at the very least, we don’t want to leave that fire and get up to answer the door. In fact, maybe if we stay really still and quiet, they’ll give up and just keep moving on to someone else.

But that’s really not the way it’s supposed to go. We’re not supposed to give them a wide berth, like the snub-nosed, holier-than-thou folks that walked right on past the injured man on the road. We’re supposed to go above and beyond, like the Samaritan, who not only stopped, but found care and then paid for it.

Helping out is messy and hard. But, when I think of those who have willingly dropped everything to roll up their sleeves for my own mess, I’m overcome with gratefulness. I’m slain as I look back and all I see is Christ.

We might get a little smelly over here today, but that’s okay. You might want to grab some skunk wash to keep handy at your place, too. After all, you never know who’s gonna show up, and you want to be ready to help them find their way home, smelling like the fragrance of Christ instead.


“Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him.” Luke 10:30-37 ESV

“For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing…” 2 Corinthians 2:15 ESV

“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” Hebrews 13:2 ESV