No. 30
From Wendy Howard [Editor of Despatch magazine], Sunshine Coast, Qld, Australia.
Access Online

Getting to know God together.

Bobby and Diane were twins.
They were ten years old.
Both were a bit lazy at times,
and always tried to get the other one to do work they didn’t want to do.
“It’s your turn! I did it last time!” was often heard in their house.
It made them bad friends too.
They were often mean to each other,
because they reckoned the other one had gotten out of work.
“It’s not FAIR!” Bobby would moan.
“I want to watch tele, he should do it!” Diane would complain.

One night Betsy, the beautiful Labrador dog, had to be fed.
Bobby said it was Diane’s turn, and she said it was his turn.
No one would do it in the end.
Betsy had to be taken to her rug in the garage too.
No one would take her there either.

Diane was half asleep very late that night.
She heard a whimpering outside.
It was bitterly cold.  At first she thought it was a person crying.
Then she realised, it was Betsy under her window.
Poor dear dog was so hungry and cold she couldn’t bear it.
“Be quiet, will you!” Diane yelled at her, and snuggled under the bed clothes.

As Diane lay there God spoke to her, inside her conscience.
Diane really felt the cold with Betsy,
and she felt the pain in her tummy from lack of food as well.
How would she feel herself, out there in the dark with nothing to eat?
Betsy cried loudly this time, and Diane woke right up now.
She pulled herself out of bed,
even though it was freezing and nearly one o’clock in the morning.
She went to the kitchen and put food for Betsy in a bowl.

She staggered down to open the garage, cold and sleepy,
and the doors were already open.
It was Bobby, feeding Betsy, who was woofing down a big meal.
“I heard her crying outside” he said, and his face was red with shame.
Soon Betsy was tucked up in her box with her rug around her, ready for a nice snooze. Diane was glad she had come out to her, anyway.
It made her feel not so ashamed.
They never argued about who should feed Betsy after that,
or who would see she got to bed.
They always did it together, to make sure the job was done!

God wants us to love. Love is responsible.
Being responsible for others, humans or animals, shows we love and care.
A lot of sadness in the world would never happen,
if people loved others and were responsible.
It is easy to just love ourselves,
and think “I couldn’t care less” about everyone else.
But in the end people who do that sort of thing get to really dislike themselves.
Do you want to “love yourself?”
Then love God and others first.

“God is love,
and he that dwelleth( lives )
in love dwelleth (lives) in God,
and God in him.” (1 John 416).


I saw the classic story “Black Beauty” on film last night.
It showed the terrible suffering that happened to horses when they were used in olden days instead of trucks and cars. Much of the suffering they went through was unnecessary. People just used the horses up, and didn’t care!
We can show responsibility in so many ways, so that we don’t cause suffering.

Do you care when that new kid is all alone at school?
Do you care and take responsibility when bullies are pushing a weaker kid around?
Do you make sure your animals are comfortable and well fed?
Are you responsible for members of your own family?

Following Christ Jesus means putting ourselves out.
Doing things for others  that might make us suffer ourselves.
It means being part of the solution in this hurting world, not part of the problem.

“Blessed are the merciful
for they shall obtain mercy.”  (Matthew 57).

Return to Devotion for Lambs page


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