Amidst news items about cage-fighting women, personal arsenals of weapons and knives numbering thousands, body modifications with protruding horns and implanted fangs, and the relentless stream of violence over the TV, it was such a breath of fresh air to read an article about kindness and loyalty demonstrated between two friends.
The friends, however, were not people but dogs. The two dogs were an Irish setter, Tillie, and a basset hound named Phoebe.
On their travels together near Paradise Valley, WA, Phoebe fell into an abandoned cistern and could not get out. She was trapped for days without food or water. But during this entire period, Tillie never left her side – except for brief periods when she ran to nearby residents and “barked for help.” Finally, someone responded and followed Tillie through the woods to discover the trapped dog. Though neither dog had eaten or drank anything for several days, their rescuers reported that they were both in good health.i
If this is the case, then why do we not practice these attributes among ourselves? Human beings are far more capable of showing tenderness, love, and compassion than animals are. Tenderness, love, and compassion are the very things we all hunger and yearn for. Why then don’t we do what we are good at, what makes us distinctively human, and makes us more like our Heavenly Father (Luke 6:27-36)? Instead, we’re so enamored with fighting fang and claw like animals – perhaps because we mistake the ability to inflict pain with strength. In reality, it takes far more strength and effort to be patient, kind, and loving – especially when we live and work in such a hostile world. It would have been so much easier for Tillie to abandon Phoebe. But love drove her to do the difficult.
So do the difficult. Love instead of hating. And by doing so “you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful,” (Luke 6:35-36).
Dear Heavenly Father, soften my hardened heart and fill it with Your love. Help me to be a true child of God by loving, forgiving, and being compassionate as Your are. Amen.
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