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Love warms the neighborhood
My sister and I live in the same neighborhood. A number of years ago, during a cold winter here in upstate New York, she and I were carpooling to work. She was very upset that morning—someone had “dropped off,” abandoned, a dog in our neighborhood. The dog was frightened and would not allow anyone to get near him. Concerned for the dog, my sister had called the town’s animal control officer, who had suggested shooting it. Not what she expected to hear!
I’ve had many proofs of God’s all-reaching love, so I knew this situation needed the kind of prayer I’ve learned to pray in Christian Science. I have learned and continue to learn how to affirm God’s kingdom right where I am—knowing that even in the darkest, coldest, earthly place, God, Love, is shining. I could bask in the warmth of that divine Love, and I could shine, or express through reflection, that divine Love in this situation.
I asked God to help me pray, and the first thought that came to me was to have compassion for the person who dropped off the dog. What had led them to abandon their dog ? Had they lost their job? Had they had to move and couldn’t take the dog with them? Were their children missing a favorite pet? I prayed to feel compassion for that family, whoever they were, and, of course, for the dog. It might seem surprising, but I don’t recall a single moment in this instance in which I felt judgmental or angry. I continued praying to know God was still loving the person who’d dropped off the dog, although this did not excuse them from having to face up to their mistakes. And God was certainly loving the dog, too.
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