“Larry, you need to change Bella’s name to ‘Lucky,’” said my friend Bruce. “I can’t imagine anyone who would take better care of that dog than you. It’s plain to me she’s not Bella. She’s ‘Lucky’ - really lucky she found you.” Here’s the backstory…
One dark, stormy, cold, foggy night I opened the door to our carport. Sensing something at my foot, I looked down. There, looking up at me, was a small, unkempt dog wagging her tail nervously, and wiggling all over as if to say, “I’m home!”
For weeks Mary and I searched for her owners but were unsuccessful. Then, we tried to find her another home. That didn’t work either. Every time we thought we found a new home for her, we failed. So, we decided to keep her and named her “Bella,” which means “beautiful.”
When reading through Proverbs several months ago, I noticed a verse that had never registered in my mind: “The righteous care for the needs of their animals.” Please understand that I am not claiming to be righteous, though I try desperately to live right, nor am I elevating animals to the level of humans. But notice this:
A distinct contrast is made by the author between a person who is righteous and one who is not: the one who is righteous has a gentleness that the wicked do not have. And, if one is truly righteous, it becomes obvious: if we as believers willingly give our hearts completely to God, He will remove every trace of “cruelty” from us - even to the way we treat animals. He will control us and bless us and enable us to demonstrate how much we value every gift He gives us - even animals. We expose who we truly are by the way we care for each gift God gives us.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, implant within us a gentle, gracious and loving heart. May we respect all of Your gifts. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture For Today: Proverbs 12:10 The righteous care for the needs of their animals, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.