The animals that once were abused, abandoned or mistreated, are brought into a safe space to recover -- in hopes that they will heal and find a place of belonging in their new environment.
My children and I met one yesterday. Our neighbor bought a beagle who apparently came out of very rough circumstances. Beautiful little dog. But, her past was written all over her face.
"She's scared of people," my neighbor explained to my youngest daughter, who asked if she could pet the dog, "Not nice things were done to her, so now she is scared of everyone."
"Ah, poor thing," my daughters and I said.
"She's still getting used to me even," my neighbor continued, "It took my mother and I an hour yesterday to get her to come out from under the bed."
You wonder what could have happened to the dog -- that even the new owner, who feeds and loves her, is still trying to earn the dog's trust. I guess it's one of those things... you can take the dog out of the fear, but it's hard to take the fear out of the dog.
Many of us are like rescue pets. We were literally rescued. There was no hope for us up to that point.
And, now the process of renewal begins. Rebuilding trust with our new Parent as He reestablishes our concept of what Love really is. At first, we might be like the beagle. We're scared of everyone -- even the ones that love us. We run and hide under the bed for our own protection. We don't believe quite yet that we are safe in our new Home.
But, with time and steady, consistent nurturing, we are slowly changed. We psychologically turn the corner. We begin to allow our hearts to draw closer and closer to our Father, as we become more and more aware of just how deeply loved and accepted we truly are.