Tilly Tinker

I’ve known Tilly Tinker for the whole of her twelve years. She’s a pug, yorkie, poodle cross with sandy colored, tousled fur. A few years ago she had surgery to remove an eye. In recent weeks she has lost sight in her other eye. Tilly Tinker is blind.

The first time I came to see her after knowing of this sad event, I opened the door and called out. Her canine sister, Poppy, can running as usual, but most unusual Tilly Tinker wasn’t there. She was on her human mother’s bed, frightened to jump down. I talked to her, picked her up, and took her to get her harness and leash. Then, as I often have the privilege of doing, I took Tilly and Poppy for an afternoon walk.

Tilly’s uncertainty was obvious. I guided her up and down curbs and along the sidewalks. She was understandably slower than she would have been with eyesight. When we returned home I removed their harnesses and went to get treats. Both Tilly Tinker and Poppy would always be jumping in excitement to get their treats. Poppy was there. Tilly was not. She was in the hallway, frozen in place, confused, scared. As I drove home afterwards, tears sprang to my eyes. Poor Tilly Tinker, I kept thinking.

Within a week’s time I returned to take Tilly Tinker and Poppy for another walk. To my delight, when I opened the door, Poppy was already there, and I caught the glimpse of Tilly Tinker getting off the bed by herself and running towards me! As we set out for our walk, there was a confidence in Tilly Tinker. She walked happily just ahead of me. Sometimes she lagged behind to get a good sniff of something intriguing, while at other times she trotted right next to me. When we returned home, I kept talking so she could hear my voice. When I selected the treats and looked down, there was Poppy — and there was Tilly Tinker, too! Oh, what joy! Instead of tears filling my eyes as I drove home afterwards, I was saying out loud, “Thank you, Father, for helping Tilly Tinker!”

That’s when the verses in Psalm 139:3&5 came to mind. “You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You go before me and follow me. You place Your hand of blessing on my head.” At times, in our daily affairs, you and I can be blind. We make decisions and can’t guess the outcome. We plan certain directions we will take along life’s journey, when we suddenly feel afraid. We can’t see into tomorrow. What if something horrible happens? It’s the “what ifs” that can make us wobble, causing our feet to stumble and fear to take hold. We stand in frozen dread, confusion refusing to make us move.

Then along comes Jesus. Actually, we realize, He is always there. He watches over our every move. He knows when we’re coming to a curb that could trip us up. He knows when to let us move forward, seemingly on our own, but in fact, He never leaves us (Hebrews 13:5). He knows when to keep us close. He sees obstacles that could harm us. He guides us from ahead and behind. He delights as our confidence grows in the dark. He cheers when we happily move on in confidence, knowing that He is our Light to show us the right paths to take, lovingly whispering, “this is the way , walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:21)

Just as I was saddened when I saw Tilly Tinker frightened, scooping her up in my arms, desiring to both protect her and show her the way, our Father in Heaven feels the same towards you and I. We are all blinded at times, frightened and confused, but our Father is never impaired in any manner. He sees the way ahead of us and He knows what is behind. Wherever we go, be assured, we are never alone.

Tilly Tinker’s loving family is there for her. With the greatest of joy, I often get to be there, too. Always know, your loving and gracious Heavenly Father is there for you, too. He goes before you and He follows you. His hand of blessing in always on your head.

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