A young boy was so excited when he found out his dog was going to have puppies. He waited in anticipation for that day. When his dog had her puppies, he was overjoyed at the 7 little balls of fur. As they grew he knew they would have to go because his parents had said that he could only keep one of them. He painstakingly chose one then made a sign to put out by the road, “Cute Puppies For Free.” A day then a week went by and only one person came to take one of these little ones. So he decided to change tactics, the next sign read, “Four Cute Puppies and One really Ugly Puppy For FREE.” Within two days all of the puppies had homes. Every person that came by wanted to claim the “really Ugly Puppy” for their own.
What is it about us that cheers for the “underdog?” We want to reach out and help the one that really needs it. This story reminds me of someone who reached out to me when I was unlovely. There was a time when I needed a kind word of encouragement and I found it.
All of us from time to time need encouragement and uplifting. I have tried lately to look for those that need an encouraging word, a hug, or an “I am praying for you.” It’s not hard to see if you start looking. Someone who is hurting may lash out at you with a harsh tone or an unkind word. If this happens it is hard not to take it personally, believe me, I have been there and done that. The first thing we want to do is react in the same way. There is a particular person I know that has said some rude things, and has been, on occasion, plain ugly to me. The Lord has had to do some work in my heart because, to be honest, this person’s words hurt me and I wanted to reciprocate. He began to show me how unhappy this person is all the time. He has taught me to pray for this person, and through this I am developing a different attitude toward this individual. I am letting Jesus love this person through me. It has not been an easy thing to do, but He has shown me how to extend love and grace to this person.
In Galatians 6:2, we find,”Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” and in 6:10, “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” Now I am pretty sure “all” means “all”. It does not mean “all who are nice to me” or “all who uplift and encourage me.” (Anyone need steel-toed shoes, I did!) I have been praying that the Lord will continue to give me “opportunity” to be a burden carrier for others, and to be the one to seek out those who are not always lovely.
We cannot say that helping others is free. It costs us something. It can cost us our pride. It can cost us our ability to be right. Then again, it cost Jesus so much more. He left the glory of heaven to come to a broken earth to save a people who did not deserve his grace. When I look at all of this, caring for “all” is the least that I can do!