Receiving and trusting

April 13, 2023

By Jeff Becraft


Last August, I was with a children’s home heading back on I-40 East. We were coming from Arkansas where we had had a great week at a camp.  We had stopped at a rest area in Tennessee (Tennessee is a loonnnggg state).

We unpacked the coolers, the bread, the cold cuts, the chips, the peanut butter and jelly, the string cheese (one of my favorites) to have lunch.

Also at the rest area was a black dog that had the resemblance of a lab. He looked lost and like he was on his own.

He was running around appearing like he was looking for something… or for someone.

The hearts of the youth (and everyone else) were deeply touched. He looked like he had been abandoned.

Several people in our group tried to entice him with food to come near us. Some even got down on the ground to offer him food. He was extremely skittish. He was interested in the provision of the food… but did not want to come near any person.

Since he looked abandoned, it was decided that we would try and rescue this dog. He could ride on the bus and when we got back home, we would find someone to adopt him.

It was already an extreme trip (traveling the whole way in one day… we had left at 4:00 a.m. that morning) and now taking the dog on the bus…  and someone had been feeding him pepperoni. I’m sure we would have seen that again, in one form or another.

There was one problem… the dog would not come to us.

What the dog was being offered was a brand new life. No more scouring around a rest area on an interstate to find something to eat, no more being left alone.

The group was willing to take the dog home even though it would create more work, more responsibility, more expenses, etc. All at no cost to him. It would be paid for him. He simply needed to receive and trust.

There was not a single person… not a single person… in our group who meant any harm to that dog. Each one was only motivated by love, compassion, and a desire to give the dog a brand new life.

But the dog would not trust us… and so he turned away. We loaded the vehicles with a sense of sadness.

We have our own opportunities in life to receive and trust. Let’s not turn away simply because we don’t know… and miss out on what is being offered.


Jeff Becraft is the Interim Director of Our Place of Hope and the Director Emeritus for Youth Corps and has dedicated much of his life to helping shift the vision of people’s lives. Youth Corps is a life-changing leadership development experience that inspires high school students to be leaders in the Midlands and beyond. You can connect with Jeff at  [email protected].