They say that when you look at how a culture treats its animals, you can make a direct correlation to how it treats vulnerable people as well.
Jarrad Venegas, who was our crackerjack office manager at BustedHalo® pointed me towards this video that is the epitome of that remark. Take a quick look and I dare you not to be moved by this.
Everyone was all too ready to give up on this dog, who was simply scared. Once she was able to see that someone else simply would love and care for her, could she then relax and stop “acting out” of her own fear.
But everyone was too quick to dispose of Edie. She was an “impossible” dog. “Better to put her down” was the conventional wisdom.
How often do we say that about other situations? Do we look at the homeless with their matted hair and their unkempt look as “disposable people?” Can we pull them into our arms for a hug? Or is that too much for us?
How about the unborn or the mother who is too scared to have her own child? Often everyone says that it’ll be too hard for the mother to care for the child. And they might very well be right. But how can we change that situation? What responsibility might we bear? How might we make that child no longer “easily disposable” but rather, loved and cared for?
How about the elderly? When they can no longer contribute to the world of work are we apt to simply forget about them? When they struggle with losing their own independence, are we able to be there to comfort them and help them gain confidence in their new situation? When they lose control of their faculties and even their bladders and bowels can we save them from embarrassment and pamper them as we would a newborn, or do we just let them stay dirty and scared and in need of someone who can care for their immediate needs?
And I’m not above any of this. I know I don’t always reach out to others when I could. It might be because I’m too lazy, or that I know the effort might be exhausting, or quite frankly that I just don’t care enough.
Even my own dog, Haze (pictured, right) who I pamper and treat like a king most of the time, can easily exhaust me when his needs try my patience with constant barking or when he feels too anxious and “acts out”–most often on my couch.
At times, it seems I give up much too easily on people who simply need just a bit of what we all need in order to feel secure.
Is it too hard to love this deeply? Perhaps Jesus who asks us to love without limit would say that we humans have a long way to go to achieve the Kingdom here on earth.
Because after all, some of us can’t even do it for a dog.