I was driving to church this morning on probably the best road in Charlotte, Johnson Oehler Road. (I imagine I may have spelled that incorrectly.) It is a winding road with a little pond at the begin-home to goats, a donkey, swans. There are small farms, big billowing trees and, recently, a soccer field that houses a Sunday morning cricket match.
Today there was also an unexpected creature; a beautiful golden retriever wandering down the other lane of the road. As I passed, the dog looked on timidly and then chased after my slow moving Saturn. The little lady's coat looked rather mangy, suggesting she had been neglected. She didn't have a collar on and when I stepped out of my car she hesitantly made her way toward me.
In the two minutes that all of this occurred, I had big plans to lure this dog into my car, bath and feed her, and try to find her home or welcome her into my own. Since she melted me heart I knew (okay, unrealistically hoped) Chad would warm to her as well. She wasn't having the get-in-my-car business and when a car pulled up a moment later the driver informed me the dog lived down the road. After leaving the scene-casting judgement on the obviously neglectful doggy parents-I started to examine my actions in what just happened.
Was I right in trying to help the dog in the way that I did? Was the dog really in need of help? Was I doing so out of pure compassion or from the place that wants to care for a small zoo in my home? Were there selfish motives in my attempt at a rescue? Most importantly, why did I feel that I had to be the one to save this dog?
Yesterday afternoon I returned from a women's retreat where I joined other women from The Branch as we rested in the Lord's presence. There was so much great teaching that my hand could not keep up with all of the great notes I was trying to record. One such golden nugget of truth that I transcribed was to rid myself of the mindset that I need to carry the burdens of others.
As I drove away from the sad, sad dog, as hard as it was, I let go of the idea that I had to save that dog. Tonight, I will pray that the dog's owners become more attentive to their pet's needs and trust the Lord. Silly example, I know, but a girl has to practice some how, don't I?