Our youngest son, his wife, and their three beautiful children lost a family member this weekend: their dog Zoe. Matt put a beautiful tribute to Zoe on Facebook today, and as I read the obit I did a lot of reflecting.
You see, Zoe was a rescue dog. Matt and Melissa drove nearly 400 miles one way to rescue Zoe from a shelter shortly before she was due to be put down. They’ve had 9 wonderful years together.
Over on the other side of town, our youngest daughter Sue and her family are enjoying the company of another mutt named Grady. He was rescued after being found wandering on a busy Muskegon street hungry and flea-infested. Old, maybe a little blind and certainly a little deaf, somebody probably just didn’t want him anymore. Sue and Jon, Brenden and Zachary did.
What I’m hoping is that this is trickle-down. I’m hoping that all four of our kids learned about rescue when Marcia and I (and the kids, too, for that matter) took in Maurice Carter as a member of our family. It was a rescue. Maurice was a prisoner, he was of another race, he had very little family of his own, his support team was about down to zero. Made no difference. He was not only a child of God, he was a dear man. A beautiful person. We loved him like family, just like Matt’s family loved Zoe, and like Sue’s family loves Grady.
St. Francis of Assisi said this: If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men. Obviously, he meant that this goes both ways---it’s a two-way street.
If people can learn to treat animals with kindness by watching us do the same with humans, the reverse must also be true. It’s time that we learn from examples set by Matt and by Sue that there are thousands of humans that need to be rescued, as well. Their names can roll off our tongues, as Matt and I work with them individually 7 days a week, in the HFP office.
There’s a prisoner struggling with transgender issues being claimed by no one. A crippled lady cannot get someone to even push her wheelchair to get chow in the women’s prison. An 81 year old man is in danger of losing his leg because gangrene wasn’t controlled with a toe injury three years ago, and no one seems to care. Will someone dare to step up and help these people? Love them? Rescue them?
I think it’s beautiful that we rescue animals, take them in, give them love and affection, food and shelter.
But let’s not forget humans.