Some of you know that my basset hound, Theo, injured himself on Christmas Day. He tore his toe nail completely off his left front toe somehow. I noticed him licking his foot late in the day and when I examined it, was pretty horrified. By the next day there was quite an infection brewing, and I bandaged it to keep him from licking it. By Monday when we were able to get to the Vet, he was in quite a mess. Armed with antibiotics, pain medication and an Elizabethan collar, better known as the “cone of shame” the healing process was begun.
The healing process, however, has not gone smoothly. Theo is stubbornly persistent. He did not like his “E collar” and so he kept shaking his head, pawing at it and banging it into things until he broke it. We taped it up, but eventually had to go back to the vet for a new one and more medicine because with a broken E collar, he had gotten to his toe again and chewed open the wound. The next E collar was of a different design and Theo managed to figure out how to shake it down his neck and again chewed on his sore toe. The third collar is the one pictured here. It’s the largest size available designed for Great Danes and St. Bernards and he can no longer reach his toe, so he bats at it and rubs it in the snow hoping to destroy it. He’s quite grumpy about this new collar and his inability to reach his toe. I keep telling him, we are just trying to help him, but he’s not convinced.
It occurred to me this afternoon that Theo is so much like we humans when it comes to accepting help from someone else. We don’t like to do it! We can manage on our own, thank you very much! The thing is, sometimes we don’t realize that God has answered our prayers and has sent an angel to help us in the form of a family member or a friend, or even a stranger. The word “angel” in the Bible means messenger from God. Most of the time in the Bible those messengers are quite ordinary looking (no wings or halos) and are sometimes mistaken as human beings. Hebrew 13: 2 says we should be careful to show hospitality to strangers because in so doing, “some have entertained angels unaware.”
It just seems to me that we often ask God for help with this and that, but when God moves in the heart of someone to have compassion and offer the help we need, we turn away saying, “I can manage on my own.” We are not unlike my dog who doesn’t understand that someone wiser than he is trying to help him.
We are called to love each other and I know we’re pretty good at loving others around us. I think perhaps, however, we need get better at graciously accept the love others are trying to offer us in God’s name.
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