It’s Not Always About You

Part 1

IMG_20180908_202921

Moxie looked up at her owner with eyes full of questions. What’s going on here? Who is that hyperactive newcomer running all over the place? Why was he brought into her world? What is she supposed to do with him? Was she supposed to be playing with him? Showing him where the food and water bowls were? Helping him settle down somewhere? Or instead was she supposed to learn something from him?

Not getting an answer from her owner, she looked back at the intruder. He was still running from one room to another stopping to sniff different items from time to time. That wasn’t too bad. But what was bad was the ear piercing high pitched bark he would make at unexpected times in the middle of all that running. And, even worse than the barks, were the sniffs. She had accepted his initial sniffing which all dogs do to acquaint themselves with other dogs, but apparently this small runt had not been satisfied with that. Or maybe his brain was too small to remember anything because every so often he would come charging up to her to begin the sniffing ritual all over again. And Moxie had no ideas left on how to handle it. She had tried being friendly, but he didn’t seem to want a friend. She had tried ignoring him but that didn’t stop him. She had tried growling softly, warning him to leave her alone, but he didn’t seem to understand that. She had looked to her owner for intervention but, even though her owner was watching, nothing seemed to change. So Moxie did the only thing left she could do – she hid. She found a safe place far enough from the small nuisance not to be noticed, but close enough where she could keep one eye on him. She didn’t trust him and she didn’t want any surprise attacks like he had done to her friend Acey. She kept her other eye on her owner, silently asking that something be done with this crazy guy and feeling bad that she wasn’t better able to handle him.

Part 2

The tired woman looked up to her Lord with eyes full of questions. What’s going on here? Who was that homeless young man running up and down 11th Street with his dog? Why was he brought into her world? What is she supposed to do with him? Was she supposed to be providing him with transportation and money? Showing him where the food resources were? Helping him find a place to stay? Or instead was she supposed to learn something from him?

Not getting an answer from God, her thoughts went back to the restless man. He was still running from one place to another stopping to check out different people from time to time. That wasn’t too bad. But what was bad was the heart piercing rude comments he would direct at different people at unexpected times. And, more personal to her than the rude comments, were his pleas to her for help. When he had first approached her, she had accepted his initial questions which were typical of the questions all people ask to acquaint themselves with other people, but those questions had quickly turned to requests for help. She told him she would do what she could but apparently this guy had not been satisfied with that. Or maybe his brain was too messed up to remember anything because every so often he would suddenly begin pleading for help all over again. And she had no ideas left on how to handle it. She had tried being friendly, providing what help she could, but that wasn’t enough. She had tried ignoring him after directing him to other resources, but that didn’t stop him from texting her. She had tried warning him subtly to leave her alone, but he didn’t seem to understand that. She had looked to God for guidance but, even though she knew He was watching, He wasn’t saying anything. So the lady did the only thing left she could do – she hid. Since she was leaving town anyway, she made sure he knew so he wouldn’t have any reason to keep asking her for help, but she monitored a few facebook groups where she could keep one eye on him. She didn’t trust him and she didn’t want any surprise attacks like he had done to others. She kept her other eye on the Lord, silently asking Him to help the man and his dog and feeling bad that she wasn’t better able to handle the situation. Should she have done more? Should she be doing more even now?

“Not everything is about you.”

“What?”

“Have you considered that this is not about you? Think about Moxie.”

The lady thought about when she had recently agreed to dog sit a puppy for a friend. The puppy had come in with all his puppy energy, charging around the house curious about everything, stopping to chew or sniff whatever caught his attention. After his owner had left, this puppy had looked for her, stopping to bark from time to time as if calling out to her, then running around the house searching again. Moxie, one of the lady’s dogs, had kept looking from the puppy to the lady then back to the puppy again as if wondering what was going on. The lady had watched as Moxie accepted the puppy’s sniffing, at least for the first few times. She had watched as Moxie tried unsuccessfully to play with him, and then had watched as Moxie tried to ignore him. “It’s OK, Moxie,” she had said. “The puppy is not going to be here long. He just needs a place to be for a while.”

“So, was the puppy there for Moxie’s benefit?”

“No, it had nothing to do with Moxie.”

“Who was this all about, then?”

“It was about the puppy.”

“Right. It was about the puppy and his needs. Not about Moxie at all. She didn’t have to do anything. Yet her presence, especially her willingness to let the puppy sniff her, added to the puppy’s socialization. So even though you didn’t bring the puppy into Moxie’s world for her benefit, Moxie did play a small role in the puppy’s social growth.”

The lady nodded. She could understand that.

“It’s the same with you and the homeless man. It wasn’t about you. It was about him. I allowed him into your world for his benefit. Your presence, especially your willingness to help, added to what I’m working in and around him. You played a small role in what I’m doing.”

But then God smiled teasingly.

“But you know I am the Master at multitasking. And although this was for the man, I am using it for your good too. Now get some well deserved rest, my daughter, and leave the man to me.”

And so she did.