Guiding Eyes and Guiding Hearts
St. Christopher’s Church – Karen Curtis – 01/29/2008
Ministry in Motion
When I began the idea for this article, Cindy was the first person that came to my mind to write about. I knew basically what she was doing and what a wonderful ministry she was providing. We see her and one of her wonderful companions at church every week. We see the special compassion and love she gives to her dogs. What we do not see is what goes on beyond our church doors.
Cindy is responsible for raising puppies for the Guiding Eyes. This is an organization that trains dogs to be companions for individuals who are blind. She gives love, socialization training and a safe environment. She gives her heart and patience to these little ones. You truly have to be a special individual to have puppies in your home all the time. While cute and full of kisses they are also full of lots and lots of energy! She walks a fine line in teaching them how to behave in public. They are not being raised to be a pet but a companion for an individual that truly needs them. The dogs that work with the blind must be able to keep those in their care safe and not look at people around them as playmates. The most recent addition to her home is Mattie. Yes, named after Mattie Stepanek, a poet, peace maker and Goodwill Ambassador for the MDA. Mattie will be graduating soon and will move on to the next step in training to be a special part in someones life. This training will take several months. We will miss you Mattie!
At the beginning of this article I said that I knew that the first person I wanted to write about was Cindy. What I did not know was that my article really was not about Cindy alone. Cindy has one of her previous students back with her. Potter is back! Potter left earlier this year for his training beyond what Cindy provides. He had to be returned to Cindy because he was having problems with his ears and this would provide too much of an issue to his companion. It has been said that God works in mysterious ways and this is one of those cases. What was Potters calling, so to speak, what is Potters gift to give? We all have a special gift to give the world. Potter is no different in that respect. Since returning to Cindy he has become a therapy dog. He gives unconditional love and attention to those he comes in contact with. He also is working with a few schools to help kids who are having reading difficulties. Reading levels are improving, kids are not threatened by his listening. The kids feel freer. This is much like the effect that having a guide dog provides the blind. See Potter, God knew what your special gift was and that to give you to one individual would be just limit your very generous gift.
Thus concludes my first article. I started to write about Cindy and came to see the bigger picture. The ministry of Cindy and Potter together is such a wonderful lesson for all of us. While we can be so sure of what our path in life is, sometime we must open our hearts and minds to the changes we face. The challenges and changes we face may lead us to a much greater way to make this world a better place. Potter and Cindy you do this in spades! Thank you for letting me get to know you.