54 Days of Hope

To this date, the number of posts appearing on TharpSter.Org which directly address matters of my Christian faith has been zero.   There have been plenty of indirect references though.  Granted, that’s not to say I haven’t spent my share of time on the internet writing about Christianity.  I would imagine when you add up all the text I’ve put into discussion forums and a previous blog, the quantity of such would far outweigh what I’ve dedicated to politics and humor.

In the last week, it has become very obvious to me that a direct reference to my Christianity is on order.  Specifically, there’s one event which has triggered such a decision.

Hope is gone.

For those of you who haven’t been following the saga of the newest member of TharpSter.Org, Hope is a one year old Pit Bull Terrier who captured our attention at the office back in January.  It took several days for any of us who tried to help her in those days to gain her trust and keep her from running away.  She had been alone for several days in the wooded area around work.  In addition, she had a wound on her front left leg that caused her to limp.  As to what had caused that cut and a few other injuries in those days is completely unknown.  Once she finally did come to us, I had to lift her up into the cab of my truck.  When we got home with her, there was also some major coaxing to get her to come into the house.

Fortunately, her hesitance didn’t last very long.  By the time we went to bed that night, she wanted to climb in with us.  Within a matter of days, she had without a shadow of a doubt created her own little niche in TharpSter.Org.  If I were sitting on the loveseat, she would come up from behind and put her paws up on my back so as to sample the possibility of eating my ear.

She offered companionship to Faith, our three year old Lab mix.  This was good, as Faith had recently displayed signs of separation anxiety.  Some of the measures we had taken to resolve that issue had been unsuccessful.

As the weeks went on, Hope continued to endear herself to us.  We took the steps to adopt her after verifying that no one was looking for her.  He had her fixed, vaccinated, and even had a microchip implanted.  We additionally took steps to provide her obedience training out of concern for the reported nature of her breed.

If having her around was not a joy enough, I was also able to derive a benefit from Hope’s presence in the form of subject matter.  After having her a few weeks, I began a series of blogs called “The Pit Bull Diaries” which was prefaced by its own page here on the site.  I had every intention of writing as many stories about both of our dogs as I could.  Sadly, I find myself at a point where I have to discontinue additional entries into The Pit Bull Diaries for now.  The reason for that is because Hope ran away last week, and we’ve yet to find her.

We’ve taken every step we could to recover her.  We continue to hold out hope that Hope will return.  Yet still, she appears to be gone.

Her picture graces the wallpaper on my PC at work.

So how does a missing Pit Bull trigger the need to discuss my faith?

I tend to see the whole occasion of Hope’s short time with us as a cog in God’s Big Plan.  I’m also of the belief that God’s Big Plan is in full force and affect.  Do I expect you to believe as I do?  Can I prove the nature of God’s Big Plan with quantifiable evidence?  Can I validate such a belief with science?


Technically, the science that’s available to mankind is infinitesimally insignificant when it comes to understanding the nature of God.  For some of the talking heads out there to discount the existence of God or the notion of Intelligent Design based on the missing science, it’s usually a key indicator to me that said heads have been the recipient of rigorous self trepanation.

In the 54 days that Hope was with us, we learned a great deal about ourselves.  We also resolved some issues in which I won’t go into great detail in describing.  Naturally the things we learned and the issues we resolved aren’t uncommon, and they certainly aren’t unique to TharpSter.Org.  They were universal occurrences that anyone encounters at one point or another in their lifetime.  Yet still, I don’t see how any of these events would have come to light without the presence of Hope.

I would be remiss if I didn’t at least call attention to the names we’ve chosen for the dogs.  They’re actually inspired by a passage in 1 Corinthians, which reads as follows:  13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. – 1Corinthians 13:13(NIV)

If we had gotten a third dog, would you care to guess what name would have been suggested?  The King James Version of that passage reads as “charity” instead of “love”.

The real poignancy about that passage for me happens 8 verses earlier:

4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV)

On a chilly day in January, Hope came to us in need of some help.  Whether we knew it or not, we needed some help too.  I don’t consider the timing of those two events to be coincidental.  Perhaps when He decided that our respective issues had been sufficiently resolved, God chose to move Hope into a different situation.  For all we know, Hope is now taking care of someone else with issues similar to our own.  Regardless of wherever she is, or whether she will ever make her way back to us, my only prayer for Hope is for God to take care of her.

Thy will be done.  Nothing more.  Nothing less.  Nothing else.

Randy Tharp

TharpSter is a husband to one woman, a father to two kids, a master to two dogs, an occasional cubical occupant, and unable to make up his mind on an adequate theme for this website.

One thought on “54 Days of Hope

  1. Oh Randy my heart is breaking for you and your family. I have said many prayers that Hope would find her way home or at the very least be safe and taken care of by another family. I’m sure it was hard to be at work everyday with all of this going on. I hoped every morning when I walked to my desk that you would say she came home and all was good. I will continue to pray that a miracle will happen and when you return home Hope will be waiting for you along with Beckie. I never got to pet her or give her a big kiss on the head but she still meant a lot to me given the circumstances of how we discovered her. I know what a great dog she is and knowing that she had a loving home made me extremely happy. I am of the belief that everything happens for a reason, so maybe you are right that she is now helping someone else get through a difficult time.

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