Yesterday morning it was 17 degrees outside. I do NOT like to be cold! However, I have a dog and he doesn’t mind it. And if he doesn’t get his daily walks he will do everything in his power to make me feel guilty. I mean, just look at that face!
So I reluctantly put on my down jacket, hat, and gloves. As we headed out across the street I realized that the sun felt nice and raised my face towards it. We walked to the end of the street, he did his “business,” and as we turned to head home I was thinking about the hot cup of coffee that I would enjoy when we got back home.
My thoughts were quickly interrupted as 2 dogs came running across the street towards us and I heard their owner yelling, “oh no, I’m sorry!” My dog likes to meet other dogs and wasn’t phased as the sniffing began until one of the dogs started attacking him. In a flash I heard growling, saw teeth, and started yelling, “stop it” to the dog. The other dog had my dog’s ear in his mouth, paws around his neck and I was terrified. A person driving by pulled over to help and the owner of the dogs was able to get her dog away from mine. I quickly walked away thinking very negative thoughts about the dog and the owner. After we got home and I assessed my dog and realized that he was fine, I was able to calm down a little bit. I went to work, but still had a bitter taste in mouth.
Later in the afternoon I was doing an errand and my son called me when he got home from school. I told him what had happened and he was immediately angry. I reminded him that it wasn’t the woman’s fault and that we should be thankful that our dog wasn’t hurt. A few minutes later he called me back and said that the woman had come over looking for me and wanted to make sure our dog was ok! As I drove home I saw the woman and pulled over to talk to her. She apologized and asked if my dog was ok. It turns out that she is the daughter in law of a neighbor and staying with them for a while. She was very kind and said, “That was not the way I wanted to meet you. I’ve heard you speak at church.” I was taken aback and felt guilty for my earlier negative thoughts.
I returned home and told my son about our exchange. As I pointed out that I could’ve been nasty and unkind to her, which would’ve been a bad reflection of Jesus (who I try hard to be a positive reflection of). As I reflected on the whole ordeal, I realized that it was a perfect lesson of grace!
We find this written out in Luke 6:31-37 (NLT)
Do to others as you would like them to do to you.“If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them! And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit? Even sinners do that much! And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, why should you get credit? Even sinners will lend to other sinners for a full return.“Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven.