When my precious paralyzed wheelchair ministry dog Mr. Simeon died unexpectedly in my arms just weeks ago before writing this in October 2020, I was devastated. My long-time vet had just given him a wonderful report. Granted he was old and had lived a miraculous life by the grace of God since being found run over by a car and left for dead before he came into my life, but I had truly believed the Lord would give me several more years with Him. We had such a beautiful, beautiful bond, and I believe a large part of this was because He depended on me for everything and was exceedingly focused on me all the time.
He always wanted more of my love and attention, and though he could not move around more than inches without my help, he followed me with his eyes. If I walked away from him in his wheelchair for even a couple of minutes, people would remark how he turned his eyes to me. He longed for me. He delighted in me. He would do anything to get my attention. He hungered and thirsted for more of me. I tell you this because the way he looked to me is how I believe we are to look to the Lord. Totally trusting in Him. Totally devoted to Him. Totally in love with Him. Totally dependent on Him. Always wanting more of Him and His presence.
My bond with Mr. Simeon was even stronger because he was so sweet, we loved each other as much as I believe a dog and person can love one another, he was on the road with me for the Lord and ministry as part of my little dog family, and he did tons of streets, hotel, and beach ministry with me whereby the Lord used him and paralyzed dog Miss Mercy to draw people to me whereby I could talk to them about the Lord, give them Gospel tracts, pray for them, etc.
Mr. Simeon loved being in my presence. He wanted as much of me as he could possibly have. He didn’t bark or howl. He “talked”, and I called him “preacher boy” sometimes because he would “preach” on the streets while I talked to people about Jesus.
He used to love to take his wheelchair walks. Even when his shoulder, neck, and leg hurt, he wanted his walks. He would simply keep his legs up above the ground and move them as though he were walking while I pulled him along. He loved the freedom and independence of “walking” like other dogs, but I believe what he loved most about those walks is that he walked with me. The way Jesus’ followers should yearn and crave and love to walk with Him down the pathway He sets before us.
The night he died, I was in a bad mood and said some awful things to him. I didn’t know he was dying. I was exhausted in part from years of exceeding caretaking of him and the other handicapped dogs in my care. The sacrifice had been beyond belief, and I was burned out. Never a day off for years and no human help. I repented at the very end, and I believe he knew my extreme love for him all along and knew it at the very end of his life that night.
I got into my hotel bed that night thinking he would fall asleep, but he did not. He had his neck and head facing upward which in retrospect I believe was symbolic of looking upward to the Lord. He could have died while I slept that night. But instead, he moved his neck around upward to me and indicated with his big beautiful eyes he needed me to come be with him. Right at the very end, he wanted what he had wanted all along. More of me.
I won’t give you all the final details. But I will share with you this. Despite my panic when I realized something was terribly wrong, despite my desperate plea to Mr. Simeon to know what a great blessing he was to me when I realized I would possibly lose him, Mr. Simeon who had lost his voice that week all of a sudden was able make one last and loud communication. It was as though he said, “Thank you, Mommy. I’m going now. I love you.” Shortly afterward, he went limp in my arms and was gone.
About 6 weeks earlier, I had come into the hotel room after a walk and found Mr. Simeon gasping for air. As soon as he saw me, he reached out his legs to me in desperation to get to me and me to him. He believed I was the one who would help him to breathe again. He believed I would rescue him and nobody else. The Lord gives us our every breath, and we should trust Him to do so and to be thankful to Him for doing so. The Lord saved Mr. Simeon that day, the vet said he was okay, and on we went with our lives.
Friend, Mr. Simeon not only believed I would provide every single one of his physical needs including food, water, vet care, getting in his wheelchair, diaper changes, medicines, etc., but he believed what he needed more than anything on this earth was my love, my attention, my care, my compassion, and my company.
I knew the only one who could carry me through this unbelievable loss would be the Lord, and to the Lord I have turned. My flesh could quit this life in a heartbeat given all the struggles I have had and continue to have along the way including so very many tragedies and very much so including the loss of my Mr. Simeon, but I have a stronger desire than ever to love and serve the Lord with all my heart and to tell the world about Jesus.
And it is my heart’s cry to tell people worldwide that Jesus through repentance, faith in Him, and devotion to Him and His ways is the only way to everlasting life with Him, and that we who believe in Jesus Christ as Lord should be 100% devoted to Him. Looking to the Lord for everything! Longing for Him! Loving Him with all our hearts! Fully depending on Him! Wanting His company more than anyone else’s! Hungering and thirsting for more of Him! Following Him with our eyes! Knowing our every breath is from Him! Enjoying our walks in life but loving more than anything that we are walking with Him! Focusing on Him! Crying out to Him! Looking upward to Him! Living for Him! Desiring Him more than anything or anyone in the universe!
If dogs go to heaven, my Mr. Simeon is surely with my Jesus! In the meantime, I have work to do going forward helping people to find and forever faithfully follow the Lord Jesus Christ.
May this message be used by the Lord to inspire and encourage you to turn to Him, to look to Him, to follow Him, to long for Him, to hunger and thirst for Him, to walk with Him, and day in and day out and forever to be totally devoted to Him! AMEN!
“As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?” Psalms 42:1-2
Friend, please don’t merely believe in Jesus Christ as Lord. Love and serve the Lord now and forever with every single ounce of your heart. And make time alone with Him and the Bible and loving and worshiping and communing with Him each and every day your highest priority in life! Come away alone with Jesus daily and praise, worship, adore, honor, revere, seek, pray to, listen to, experience, and enjoy Him day by day and forevermore, AMEN!
“My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.”
Song of Solomon 2:10
I give the Lord every ounce of glory for the love, care, compassion, strength, and resources He gave me to bless my sweet, dear Mr. Simeon for almost eight years. Shortly before I set out on the road full-time for Jesus, Mr. Simeon was near death. The Lord gave me almost 4 more years with Him as my beloved dog and as an amazing streets ministry dog through whom the Lord brought countless people to me so I could talk to them about Him. There were times I fell terribly far short in caring for my beloved Mr. Simeon, and I am thankful beyond measure the Lord led me to repentance each time, that He forgave me, and that Mr. Simeon did, too. I thank God for nearly 8 years of one of the greatest blessings of my life!