Guide Dog Tales Vol. 8


By Carolyn Dale Newell

Several weeks ago, I described Iva’s patience as she waits for her food. Since then, I have realized her patience is only part of her training. When she wants attention, patience is not her strong suit. Can we all say, “spoiled”?

Christians should not desire a trained patience, appearing patient on the outside, but churning with impatience on the inside. We seek the fruit of patience supplied by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit-filled ability to wait will be genuine. Not a worked-up façade.

Looking back on my time at Guiding Eyes, I expressed my deep disappointment when I could not take Iva on escalators. I never received training to use them using my white cane, the pre-requisite to allowing the dogs on escalators.

After returning home in October, I requested my local Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired to schedule an appointment with a mobility instructor who could teach me the escalator routine. In December, someone finally called me. Our first appointment in January was postponed due to snow. Finally, I had the training last week. Now, I am ready for someone from Guiding Eyes to come here and work with Iva and me. Afterward, we can receive the green light on escalators.

God was working through all these disappointments and postponed appointments. He had an appointment for me with a sweet little lady I met at the shopping mall.

She approached me asking if she could pet Iva. I removed the harness, allowing her to touch Iva. She inquired about my remaining vision. Was I totally blind? I assured her that I still had some vision. She asked me if I knew God could heal me. I shared my testimony with her. I described how God gave me some vision through cataract surgery, but I still needed a guide dog. Iva healed this momma’s aching heart. She gave me a reason to live after feeling so barren with an estranged daughter for ten years. That was the healing I needed most, not more vision. Unlike many, I am content with my vision. I see the greater good. It appears I have lost physical vision and gained spiritual vision. Definitely the better of the two.

The kind lady was blessed by something I said. She was in physical pain, making it difficult for her to walk. Perhaps my attitude about vision loss touched her heart. Whatever it was, she left me with a smile on her face. Sometimes, you can hear a smile.

It is moments like this one that restrains me from purchasing a “Do Not Pet” sign for Iva’s harness. I don’t always allow petting, but if this is the icebreaker God uses to help me witness, I welcome those opportunities.

Today’s disappointment may be tomorrow’s appointment with God. This week’s disappointment may be God’s appointment next week. This month’s disappointment may be next month’s appointment with God. You get the idea. My appointment with that woman was more important than my ability to use escalators 4 months earlier. It amazes me how God works things together.

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. (Rom. 8:28 NKJV)


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