In this holier than thou community, city, state that I live in (oh, come on, you know it’s true), I am constantly seeing abandoned dogs that are nothing but fur and bones and sorrowful eyes. My daughter inevitably gives me a terribly sad look when we pass one, and I immediately tell her not to even think about it. We cannot take in a stray. We don’t have the housing or the funding to take on another pet. But then I pray about it: “God, please take care of all the creatures you have placed on this earth.” Afterward, I think about what a ridiculous prayer that is. God does do something about the creatures on this earth. That is what humans are for. God gives us the capacity to fix things and to make things better, and we can either choose to help and use our resources, or we can walk away and let others do the helping for us.
Today, I turned my car around and went back and poured out some food for a stray dog that I saw hobbling along the road. The poor thing was emaciated and starving but clearly terrified of me. She would not go anywhere near the food I left for her until I had driven up the road.
I know that it was a very small gesture; I know that she will need much more than a pile of food left with good intentions on the side of the road, but it was best I could do at the moment. Hopefully, the food will give her the strength to move to a better location. Maybe someone else will see her and give her a home. Maybe I will drive by her again and she will recognize me and come to my car.
The point, though, is not merely feeding a stray dog. It is the understanding that praying for change is not enough. Prayer is a wonderful thing, but after you pray, you need to be a part of the solution. People need to take an active role in their own lives and the lives of those around them. God will gladly give us the capabilities and the solutions, but He probably doesn’t want to have to do everything for us. Asking God to do something and then not pitching in to help when you have the ability to do so is probably as negligent as not doing anything at all.