Coming home from work rounding the street corner to my house, I suddenly screeched the brakes. To my left, hiding under a bush was a huge Pitbull, shaking, nervous and covered in blood. I have an incredibly soft spot for Pitbulls, and helping fight in the efforts against dog fighting. My first horror thought was that he was used in a dog fight and dumped, or worse, used as a bait dog. I quickly parked my car at my house and ran back up to him with bandages and dressings. On closer inspection I was thankful that a fight was probably not the case but most likely had been knocked by a car.
It was after 5pm and the emergency number I have on my phone for the lovely man at the SPCA had already gone home. How on earth was I going to find his owner in this big neighbourhood? At this time of day? At the risk of getting bitten, I spoke softly to him to keep him calm and prayed over him. Eventually he could tell I was there to help him. There was no way I would leave him alone. I could not bring him to my house as I have 3 dogs and they would fight and he was so sore, he couldn’t move.
I earnestly prayed, “Father, please send the Holy Spirit to help me, I can’t do this on my own! Please tell me where the owner is – otherwise You know I will bring a mattress from my house and sleep outside here tonight with him! So please help me?”
To cut a 2 hour story short, wandering the neighbourhood and asking neighbours if they knew the dog, the Lord led me down a road 2 blocks from my house, and lo and behold there stood a little Pitbull puppy on the pavement who had just gotten outside his gate that was mistakenly left open! That was obviously the house! I managed to call the owner while the puppy chewed blissfully on my leg and Tony the Pitbull was taken home safely and medically treated the next morning.
“the righteous gives and does not spare.” Proverbs 21:26
I love this post by Calvin and Hobbes – when I first saw it a decade ago I burst out laughing, because his last statement is really something that can come from my mouth! This is what I try do in my spare time- I help to rescue abandoned and abused animals and get them re-homed. This is where I give until it hurts.
But I got to thinking what I would have done if Tony was a human? That day I did not care if I skipped dinner, bathing or bed. My focused purpose was to get Tony home and healed. I’m not joking when I said I would have slept outside with him to not leave him alone! Would I have done the same for a human? I tithe and volunteer at my church when an opportunity arises, and buy food for the homeless people in and around my neighbourhood when I can; but am I giving until it hurts for people? If I’m honest, no.
I realise that the complete love and devotion I shower on animals by giving of my time cheerfully will have a massive impact on people who are in need of physical items and the love of Jesus. The love I am showing to animals is the exact same love I need to be showing people more often, because it is Jesus’ love in action. What animals are getting from me is what humans need more of from me!
“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do so.” Proverbs 3:27
“He who gives to the poor will never want, but he who shuts his eyes will have many curses.” Proverbs 28:27
I have been trying to place my focus more on what Jesus wants:-
What am I sparing with regards to the poor?
What luxuries can I give up to benefit someone else?
How can I better use my time to give and glorify God?
Are there a few extra things I do not have to buy in the month to use to give to someone else?
How can I bend over backwards so that Jesus is clearly seen?
“Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'” Matt 25:40
It is great to know that when we give to help others, Jesus sees it as giving directly to Himself. And that is truly a blessing. I should be giving more to King Jesus. And more. And more. Sparing nothing.
“Then the people rejoiced, for they had offered willingly, because with a loyal heart they had offered willingly to the Lord” 1 Chronicles 29:9
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