Wednesday, May 03, 2006


She is a small, brown dog, sitting in the middle of a traffic lane, causing a northbound traffic tie-up on Highway 19. A man grabs the scruff of her neck, lifts her off the ground and deposits her in a sitting position in a parking lot. He climbs on his motorcycle and drives away. The dog tries to stand and falls over. One hind leg is injured, possibly broken.

Three or four people walk over. When their curiosity is satisfied, they quickly wander away. It isn’t their problem.

But one teenage couple remains with her. The girl kneels, speaks softly and hesitantly strokes the frightened animal. The young man paces rapidly as he uses his cell phone to dial 911 and request help for the dog. He has a sock wrapped around the fingers of the hand the dog nipped when he tried to help her. The trauma of the accident was too fresh, too painful, and she lashed out instinctively. He isn’t bleeding, but his hand throbs.

Sometimes life events hit us so hard they leave us sitting stunned in the road, unable to move on without help. Illness, injury, divorce, unemployment, debt, or a myriad of other unexpected incidents can impact us.

Many people will wander away when their curiosity is satisfied. It isn’t their problem. Friends will remain with us, speaking softly and doing what they can to ease our fears and offer support. It isn’t their problem, but, amazingly, strangers will appear to offer a hand of assistance.

Sometimes, when the trauma is fresh, we also lash out instinctively. We bite the hand that offers aid.

Sometimes we even lash out at our Lord. We often blame God for painful circumstances in life, even those times when we cause them. Still, knowing that in our panic we might bite, he offers a hand of encouragement.

The dog shows no signs of aggression. She is alert and quiet, without even a whimper. Once the initial shock is over, she realizes she is among friendly strangers.

This young man is not severely injured, but he was bitten for trying to do a good deed. His companion is undeterred as she offers comfort to an animal in pain. Each is prepared to overlook the initial response of the dog and to offer help.

This young couple reacts admirably. They invest a bit of time and concern in a stranger’s dog, despite the pain of the encounter. Because they care, this dog is alive and reunited with her owner.

Sometimes life bites. We feel its sting because we are alive. Nevertheless, resist the urge to bite back.

1 comment:

Vicki said...

Thanks for sharing this, Jan. I feel like that small brown dog sometimes.