“Hear my prayer, O Lord; give ear to my pleas for mercy! In your faithfulness answer me, in your righteousness!” Psalm 143:1

Daily around the country grief, turmoil, pain, challenges of all kind upset the lives of everyday people. Often cataclysmic events alter people’s reality without warning. A tornado rips through a small town in Oklahoma. The flood waters in Baton Rouge wash away a family home. Shootings of all kinds leave a community hurt and in mourning.

What are we to do when life takes a turn for the worst and leaves us without hope? The psalmist says “cry out to the Lord and ask for his mercy.” It is good to know that God is always listening, always faithful in His desire to reach in and show mercy to us when we have been knocked down.

The problem is that often we don’t see God’s mercy. All we see is the pain or misfortune that has altered our reality. A flood in Baton Rouge, a shooting at a school in Connecticut, a tornado in Indiana, all serve to focus us on the hurt and suffering that claims it’s prize an any given day.

But God’s mercy is there at the heart of our trouble. It comes through others as much as through extraordinary means. His mercy comes in the embrace of a neighbor, the helping hand of a stranger and even through the simple presence of a Comfort Dog.

Lutheran Church Charities K-9 Comfort Dogs have for over 10 years brought God’s mercy to hurting people all over the country. These specially trained dogs are instrumental in providing the peace and calm that is often lost when a devastating event occurs.

Comfort Dogs can calm a hyperactive child or stimulate a withdrawn patient or older adult. They serve in nursing homes as agents of God’s love for the residents. They help to create a calm atmosphere when the anxiety of disaster is the prevalent mood. They are a constant reminder that God is present and gives His love and comfort to any of us who feel lost, hopeless, or in crisis.

There are currently 68 trained K-9 Comfort Dogs deployed around the United States in churches, schools, and ministries. Each year more dogs and handlers are trained to extend the ministry of mercy to more communities. But they need our help.

Lutheran Church Charities is a non profit ministry that is funded by the generosity of churches and individuals around the country. Our donations are what opens the door for God’s mercy to be delivered by this special group.

St. James is pleased to support Lutheran Church Charities K-9 Comfort Dogs and asks you to join us in assuring their work continues. Simply go to the LCC website and donate your gift to support God’s mercy as it works to relieve the suffering of others.

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