What Is A Christian To Do?

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Hate crimes, police shootings, terrorist attacks and injured stray cats are all recent events that have filled me with sadness. And yes, I purposely included cats in the same sentence as the lives of human beings. The reason why is because the cat incident hit the closest to my physical home.

Our backyard borders a small patch of trees and a drainage creek. We see our share of animals pass through. The stray cat was a new visitor. It looped back around to park his weary body under our front porch glider. I could see his matted fur and the swarm of flies that followed him as he oozed infection onto the concrete.

It was not a problem I expected to see in our backyard. We shooed him away, but he kept inching his way back until he found his familiar spot on the front porch again. Truth be told, I didn’t want this problem hanging around my house or present in my life.

I did the Christian thing and prayed for the cat. I prayed that the cat would simply disappear. I prayed for the cat’s suffering to end. I wrestled with Christian guilt because truth-be-told, I wished the cat hadn’t showed up here. In the end, the cat did not hear my prayers. He stayed where I could no longer ignore him.

We asked neighbors if they knew the cat’s owner. No one claimed the cat. I didn’t have to imagine their relief that this cat ended up in our yard and not in their yard. The cat was still our problem.

Eventually, we transported the cat to a local animal shelter. The employee examined the cat and used a sensor to detect a microchip. My heart lept just a little when she reported that there was a microchip. There was real hope to reunite cat and owner. Most likely, I will never know the end of this story. However, I can find some solace in the fact that we did something to potentially improve the cat’s circumstances.

Sometimes the problems in this world feel like that injured stray cat. We didn’t ask for the problem. We don’t want to deal with the problem. We don’t have the resources to fix the problem. Or worse yet, maybe we simply don’t care about the problems because it doesn’t directly affect our day-to-day lives.

The Bible has it right: Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act (Proverbs 3:27). All of us have more power than we realize. Everyone deserves our good. Jesus shows us the better way: When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd (Matthew 9:36.) May we look upon others with compassion and love rather than with intolerance and hate.

The best expression of faith that I can come up with is to show kindness in the moment. It may not change the world, but it can offer hope for that given moment. Maybe that is the best any of us can do on our own. We show kindness and hope that together with the kindness of others, God uses those moments to become a movement of love that changes the world.

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8 thoughts on “What Is A Christian To Do?

  1. I think you are so right: We have more power than we know to do good and be the bright spot in someone’s day. And as that bright spot, they will probably wonder what is the Source behind our light. Here is a bit of a related example. On Monday, I started my work day at the newspaper where I work with someone anonymously calling to say I had failed her terribly by not putting in her class reunion in the paper and that it only took a couple of lines of ink. She seemed to feel that I deliberately decided her reunion wasn’t worthy. That could not be further from the truth! I didn’t get it, or if I did, I misplaced it. But I had no way to tell her that and to apologize. That evening, another person representing a different town and class reunion sent a note to thank me for putting it in. That note really made my day! Especially after I had failed someone else on the same topic!

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    • We have the opportunity to be a bright spot or a dark spot in someone’s day. Even when we have a legitimate reason to complain, how much more good we can do by showing grace when we address a problem. How wonderful that someone thanked you with a note! (It seems so old-fashioned to write a note now-a-days!)

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  2. You reminded me Debbie of when I brought Mo-Joe from a refuge, I will leave a link for you below but to condense he had been sent back twice which was strange because he seemed friendly and cute, I later learnt that he had an eye disease and would go blind eventually, the drops to help his eyes were very expensive. I thought long and hard, with only being on a Pension would the expense be worth it but in the end I decided to keep him and Ron agreed.

    Simon our Vet told us recently that Mo-Joe’s eyes had improved greatly and that he may not go blind as first diagnosed, Yes there has always been money for his drops.

    God provides what is needed when what we ask for and what we do is in agreement with His will and nothing is impossible for Him except evil.

    Mo-Joe- https://freedomborn.wordpress.com/2012/08/24/oh-no-mo-joe/

    Christian Love and Blessings – Annie.

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    • Yes, finding the chip was a good thing. The shelter employee was quick to temper our enthusiasm. She pointed out that oftentimes pet owners don’t keep their contact information up to date. However, as a friend pointed out to me (her father was known to quote this often): It is the same price to hope!

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