Some people never hear God speak. Some people say he doesn’t speak. Some ministers believe he talks to us all the time but we fail to listen. I decided long ago that there were questions I would never find the answers to but I’m very, very fortunate in that I have, indeed, heard God. There have been times that I actually heard an audible voice. But recently, I heard him through a very different source.
At the beginning of our Sunday, I remarked to my son that I was beginning to despise a particular children’s song that our small praise group seems to love. Almost every Sunday they lead us in the song called, “All God’s Critters” and it’s a happy little jingle that goes like this:
All God’s critters got a place in the choir
Some sing low and some sing higher
Some sing out loud on the telephone wire
Others clap their hands… or paws…or anything they got now
But on this particular Sunday, I was coming down with a cold and didn’t feel very ‘happy.’ At first, I didn’t even sing it but just did the hand motions. But then my son, who was sitting next to me, appeared so happy, I forced myself to go along. Before it was over, I was delighted with it like always.
After we got home from church, I took my weary body to the recliner and promptly fell asleep. I woke up to terrible screaming coming from the front yard. I raced to the street where a driver was hunched over a little bulldog screaming in pain. The man quickly explained that his dog had gotten out of her leash and jumped from the back of the truck and he was scared he’d run over it with the back tire. Thank God for my earlier years of EMT work as I quickly assessed the situation and realized the pup was laying on scalding asphalt.
I had the owner quickly scoop up the howling dog and move her to grass in the shade. I quickly looked the dog over while we both reassured her. She immediately calmed to our gentle hands. I told my son to quickly bring the phone and our personal phone book as I knew I had written the UC Davis Emergency Vet Hospital number there. Minutes were ticking way too quick and although the dog appeared breathing normal, she was still looking very scared and it made me sense something else was wrong then a gush of blood came from her backside and I knew there was no time to waste. We all saw it at once and the young man’s hands were shaking as he tried to keep holding the phone to get directions. “She’s my baby,” he said looking straight into my eyes.
The UC Davis team was already giving instructions to the owner while my son and I helped the man load her into our backseat. Although the man’s girlfriend then pulled up, it would take too much time to move the dog again so we just had her follow us. She stuck right to my bumper the whole way, even running a stop sign at an empty intersection to stay with me. I told my son to take note of this life lesson. Look at people's faces at stop signs. One look would have told anyone this was an emergency situation.
We got to UC Davis Pet Emergency and unloaded the injured animal when the couple promised to return our towels and board. I told them they didn’t matter but the dog did. To take care and that we’d pray for her to be healed. Then, the young woman’s eyes looked so searching into mine that I had to go hug her and she hugged back, thanking us very much. They hurried in and we got back into the car.
On the way home I felt so concerned for the dog and felt so touched by the humanity of the whole incident. None of us even knew each other’s names but we all knew the love of a pet and how to help each other. I then thought of the song that, at first, I hadn’t wanted to sing earlier in church, “All God’s critters got a place in the choir…” I don’t have any doubt this was a lesson from the Lord. I think he was telling me that all God's critters do count. Even the mug of a bulldog can bring out the best of humanity.