This week we had an unexpected houseguest. Thursday afternoon as I pulled into my driveway I saw her. Walking slowly with her head held low, she looked cold and tired. I called to her and crossed the street. I said hello and offered to help. She is a sweet red haired old lady with distinguished gray hair around her temples. Quiet, respectful, patient & loving. She requires very little, but has so much to offer. I found her wandering the streets alone, cold, confused and lost. She was so appreciative of my offer to come in out of the rain, she said nothing but I could see it in her eyes. This sweet lady I speak of is a dog…literally a canine.
The funny thing about this situation is that I did it without a moment’s hesitation. I have spent more time deciding on my Starbucks order than I did going to get this dog. I led with my heart – I saw this old dog slowly walking up the sidewalk, head hung low, soaking wet and lost and it pulled on my heart.
So it’s been several days now and we still have not found her owner. I’ve had some time to think this over and while it has been less than convenient to bring another dog into our already busy home with 3 dogs – I know that I couldn’t live with myself if I took her to the pound or left her on the streets to fend for herself.
I am reminded of the bible verse in Matthew 25:45 “Whatever you did not do for the least of these, you did not do for me”. Jesus came to love, forgive and redeem the least, the lost and the lonely. Now, I know that bringing in an old dog from the rain does not qualify me for sainthood but it has brought God’s word to life for me as I consider who are the least, the lost and the lonely in my life and in my sphere of influence. Moreover, I am left with several questions…what am I going to do about it? Will I look the other way? Will I pretend that I don’t see the obvious need in their life so I don’t have to be inconvenienced? Do I look at God’s people who are hurting with the same compassion I gave freely to a lost dog? I don’t have the answers to all these questions just yet, but I do know that I am more willing to lead with my heart and I think that is a step in the right direction.
If you are interested in helping the least, the lost and the lonely in your community check out some of these sites as a way to get started.