I recently had a conversation with a woman at church, who said that we couldn’t find God in the material world. I think that’s a big part of our problem in America. We don’t make the distinction between the man-made material world and the God-made material world. God is everywhere in the material world, because God made the material world and revealed God’s self in that world.
For so many years, theology has separated the spiritual world from the physical world, but how do we know God? As Christians, we know God through Christ–the physical manifestation of God. If God meets us in the physical world, why would we try so hard NOT to meet God in the physical world? Doesn’t it only make sense that we try to meet God in the world God created, especially this time of year when we’re walking with Christ as he approaches death and resurrection?
In the middle of writing this, I had lunch with my niece in Nashville. On the way there, I passed a dog in the culvert between the northbound and southbound lanes of the highway. I couldn’t see his face, but based on his hind end, it was probably a Great Pyrenees. He wasn’t there when I came home from choir the night before, so he must have been hit sometime overnight or in the morning. I couldn’t stop, but I couldn’t just let him lay in a ditch.
In tears, I called my husband. He made a three way call to Bedford County Animal Control. Thankfully, they are wonderful animal-loving people and didn’t think I was crazy. They said someone would be out to check on the dog right away. As I continued driving to Nashville, I had to wonder what kind of person could hit a dog and keep driving. This was an extra large dog. At least 100 pounds. Unless the person was drunk, the driver knew s/he hit something. How can you just keep going?
I thought about how scared that poor baby must have been, and I thought about my own dogs. If you have any doubt, I’m here to tell you that yes dogs do love. Dogs also understand justice, and they know when they’re dying. I cried most of the way to Nashville, grieving for that poor dog.
When I came back through the dogs was gone. I choose to hope that he is still alive and is in the care of a loving vet. I hate to think he died alone in a ditch, because someone hit him and didn’t care enough to stop.
This is the problem with the world. We’re too concerned with things that don’t matter to see that we can meet God in the eyes of a dog that needs our help. God’s creatures deserve our love and concern, and in caring for them, we get a glimmer of understanding as to how God cares for us. I am personally grateful that God loves that driver more than s/he loves God’s creation, and I pray that God softens that driver’s heart enough to feel the weight of what was done.