Words cannot express the horror on my face as I hurled down a busy highway and noticed a small yellow kitten in the middle of it!
Because I didn’t notice it was alive and trying to cross until I had just passed by it, there was no way to stop. Even if I had, I would have possibly caused a wreck slamming on my brakes or gotten hit myself trying to run to the middle of the highway to rescue it.
I would die trying to save a person but alas not a kitty. Hate me if you will.
I prayed hard that God, who knows every sparrow that falls, would have mercy on that little kitten and let it get to safety!
I was so stressed about the furry little critter that I drove a different route home just to avoid seeing it run over in the road in case that was the fate that awaited him.
However, there was a time when my youthful zeal took over and I actually did stop on one of the busiest roads in Wichita, KS to save a wounded puppy.
It would have been when I was a student at Friends University and heading down Kellogg/Hwy 54 to take a semester exam.
I came up over a bridge and there was a poor little puppy trying to walk with a bone protruding out of his leg!
I couldn’t stand to see it in such misery and quickly put on my hazard lights, stopping traffic behind me as I sized up the situation. Praise God, I didn’t cause a complete traffic pile up!
A woman behind me on the highway, stopped as well to offer assistance and we put the puppy on a blanket and loaded him into my car.
I rushed to the college, got permission to take the exam later and called my mom to meet me at the vet. (Doesn’t anyone know that college students are broke?!)
$100 later, the little dog had to be put down and mom and I walked sadly back to our cars knowing we had done our best.
After a week or so had passed, I was surprised to find a letter to the editor of the Wichita Eagle and Beacon that was submitted by the woman who had assisted me on the highway.
She praised me for caring enough to help the puppy, sacrificing my school exam to take it to the vet and then asked if the paper would donate $100 to the Humane Society, which was the offer the paper made if a person’s letter got published.
I still laugh when I remember the response from my Dad after reading the paper that morning: “Shelli gets the credit, the Humane Society gets the cash and I get to pick up the bill.”
Many years have passed since the puppy rescue and I have to wonder if I am wiser now or more calloused. Sometimes I miss those naïve, carefree days of my youth when I could so easily slip into super hero mode and try to save the world or at least a little piece of it.
Alas, I am now all too aware of my limitations. I have to look beyond the immediate and see the bigger picture of not just one kitty but other lives as well.
I wonder if this is a very small picture of what it looks like to be God. On the outside of our individual pain it often seems as if God is driving right by us totally unconcerned. We wonder if he has forgotten us or just doesn’t care.
However, His word tells us that He is good, He is kind, He is merciful and loving. He cares about every individual hurt and yet considers a thousand others at the same time. He is the God of the impossible, the great “I Am” and the one who sees a vastly bigger picture that reaches beyond this world and into the next.
It is more than my brain can fathom and it makes me grateful that the decisions of life and death are left to him and not to me.
I have tried to cover His bases at times and discovered I am not adequate for the task.
And that, above all I have learned, is the wisest place for me to be.