It was Sabbath and I was going to go on a walk with my mom after eating a wonderful lunch, but after going outside I decided the coat I had on was too warm. So I quickly returned to the house to get a lighter coat and then join my mom, who was already outside for the walk. Soon after I went inside the house I heard by mom yelling my name and when I open the front door there was a huge reddish brown dog looking at me. My mom said to open the garage so she could get in the house through there. So I went to the side door to do so, but when the garage door opened the dog rushed in and came up to the other door to the house before she could. So she hurried in the house through the front door while the dog wasn't looking.
As I stood by the door to the garage I quickly decided we should close the garage door so the dog couldn't get away. Although the dog's fast movements was shocking at first, it was soon evident that it was used to people and was very friendly. So friendly in fact it seemed to think it was welcome in anyone's home. After we trapped it in the garage we decided to find the owner. At first my mom wanted to walk up the road and ask, but I thought it would be faster if we just looked at the collar.
It was a simple plan, but actually achieving that was not very simple. The dog was so big and wouldn't stay still, but after bribing him with snacks we were finally able to get the identification number off his tag, check the dog registry, and call his owner. His owner seemed like a nice man and the dog was very happy to see him, although he had a history of wondering from home.
This reminded me of the verse where the Bible says, "If you see your neighbor's ox or sheep or goat wandering away, don't ignore your responsibility. Take it back to its owner." Deuteronomy 22:1. Now, I am not reading this to say, "see how holy I am?" or something like that, but as I think about how I was willing to go into the garage and hold onto some random dog I didn't know and was scared of to read its tiny tag, I started questioning my motives. As I did so I was able to see that pain is a blessing. I have lost pets to death and in other things and I didn't want someone else to lose his or her pet.
I think if I had not known how it felt to lose a pet, I wouldn't have been as concerned. It would have been very easy to think well, I'm busy and to go on a walk right now and the dog can probably find its own way home. And maybe it could have. Although pain is the result of sin and not something God finds ideal, when God allows pain it is best to allow the pain to make you more caring. Pain doesn't have to harden your heart; it can soften it and give you a higher level of empathy than you would have had without it. I was still able to enjoy a walk with my mom that day, and if we were not delayed by spending so much time trying to find that dog's home we probably wouldn't have seen one of our neighbors who ended up joining us with her dog so we could all walk together. And it was a nice walk.
Picture originally found here