She extends her hand to the poor; and she stretches out her hands to the needy.
On their way to church on Sunday, my husband and two of his friends saw a stray puppy on the side of the road. Concerned for the dog’s safety, they pulled over, got out of the car, and tried to call the dog to them. The dog immediately took off into the woods that border the road. Since they had no chance of catching up with him, and had to get to church, they got back in the car and continued on.
Later that day, Glenn and I were heading out on the same road and we decided to check and see if the dog could possibly still be there. As we neared the area, we saw the puppy standing on the small hill Glenn had seen him on earlier. As soon as we got out of the car, he took off back into the woods. By this point, we began to be concerned that no one was looking for this poor little puppy and that he would likely face the night in the woods all alone and possibly become prey to whatever else lurked behind the dense foliage. We weren’t geared up for a hike and we had no idea where he could have run to so we gave up and headed home.
I take the same road in to work, so on Monday morning I decided to check for him. No sign of him. On my way home on Monday, I decided to leave some food out at the place where we had seen him and see if he would come out. I waited for several minutes and gave up, figuring someone had picked him up. Just in case he was still alive, though, I left some food for him.
On my way into work Tuesday morning, I checked to see if the food was still there- it was gone. As I was pulling away, I was almost sure I saw a puppy-like figure bolt into the woods. In case this was him, I left some more food and checked back on my way home from work- it too was gone. By this point, I was extremely concerned. This poor puppy had been in the woods for at least three days now and was probably dehydrated and exhausted. I left some food out and parked to monitor it.
As I was sitting there, I began the think to myself about how sorry I felt for this poor, helpless little puppy. And then the thought occurred to me, there are millions of people in the world that are starving and I hardly bat an eye, yet when I see a puppy in danger, I am willing to give up my time and energy to ensure his safety. What must God think of my extreme confusion of values?! He must despise my level of concern for needy people and be enraged over the fact that I care more for a dog than a starving child in India.
Unfortunately, the puppy never emerged. I will probably check for him again tomorrow morning, but this conviction has caused some serious evaluation for me. I want to be a woman of God and I want my heart to be like His, but I am so often so far from what I should be. I would like to be a Proverbs 31 woman and yet, my hand rarely extends to the poor and I never “stretch” out my hand to the needy. I am praying today that God would show me the needy as He sees them, and that He will grant me a heart like His.