It’s not often that I have a burst of fresh insight while walking my dogs in the rain at six o’clock in the morning. But I had one today.
Now mind you, I consider my dogs to be among the best behaved canines in the world. Chalk it up to good parenting. Well, my parental pride aside, each morning we encounter a lady on our walk with a not-so-nice dog, a yappy little thing that snips and snaps and growls at my precious puppies. And every morning, I chalk that dog’s misbehavior to — what else? — poor parenting.
But this morning, my fellow dog walker seemed especially embarrassed and ashamedly explained, “I’m so sorry. She’s a rescue dog.”
A rescue dog.
That explained it. How insensitive of me. This lady’s poor pooch had issues, the result of months, perhaps years of neglect, abuse, pain and suffering.
A rescue dog.
Suddenly, I understood. And in understanding, felt nothing but heaps of compassion for the little thing.
And then came my burst of insight. Aren’t we all — well — if not rescue dogs, certainly rescued people?
We’ve all had our not-so-fair share of neglect, abuse, pain and suffering. Life is like that. Some days can be downright painful.
Which came as a reminder to me that everyone I meet is, in that sense, a need-to-be-rescued person. Or, in the case of Christians, rescued persons. Rescued by a living and loving Jesus. But rescued nonetheless. So no wonder if they snip and snap and growl at me. Rescued or not, they are striking out out of their pain. People who need compassion and understanding and a whole lot of grace.
Cuz you know what? I am not immune from snipping, snapping, and growling at others myself. For the undeniable reality is this: I, too, am a rescued individual.
PLEASE keep that in mind the next time I snip and snap and growl at you. It is not personal. It is a sad and sorry manifestation of past or present pain unfortunately coming once again to the surface.
Which is just another way of saying that I will gratefully receive your grace, and purpose in my sin-sick, Jesus-rescued soul to show equal grace to others.