[Tears of My Heart] 11. Tear for the Lost Dog

Raymond Eng

In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind. (Job 12:10)

My daughter had a little dog. One day she called us, “The little doggie is sick, and it is not going to make it.” After hearing that, both my wife and I were crying. Not long after that, the little dog’s health continued to decline. It couldn’t eat, nor can it run, its hair was falling off, and it started to go blind. To the two of us, this little dog is more than a pet, but our family member. It was a very good dog. It listened to people, friendly and faithful, sometimes I feel our human character can’t even match what a little dog is like. When it died, we were greatly grieved at its passing.

I also heard another dog story. A brother who was growing vegetables in his backyard. But the strange thing was when it was harvest time his neighbors had a good harvest, but his yard had the worst yield. The vegetables he grew were withering before it ripened. He found it strange and felt despair. One day, he got off work early and was in the backyard. Then he realized that it was his own dog destroying his garden, stepping on and tearing the garden apart. He was so mad he grabbed a stick and hit the dog. He sat down afterwards. Even before his anger subsided, his dog limped to his side and start licking his hand, right after being beaten. At that time, the master felt ashamed as well as grateful. The dog had forgiven his master, the master discovers his ‘capacity to love’ does not even measure up to his own dog!

Another episode occurred when one of my tenant’s dog bit me. This dog is not mellow, certainly quite unfriendly, and was very hostile toward me. One day, it came over to bite me, the wound was almost two inches deep, and I bled a lot, – even my pants were punctured with a few holes. Because I have diabetes, the wound was inflamed. Though I had taken antibiotics and other treatments, it took more than a whole month before it improved. The dog’s owner was very concerned, and she feared I may sue her. Yet I spoke to her in love, told her, “This was an accident. No one wants this to happen. Don’t worry, I won’t sue you. But from now on, please pay attention to your dog, because if it bites someone else, there may be a serious consequence.” I told my tenant that I am a Christian. For the sake of God, I will forgive her and won’t pursue this. The tenant was very moved after she heard it. These are lessons of forgiveness we learn from dogs.

From that little dog, I learned how short life is. From being bitten by a dog, I sense how fragile my life is. If it had not been God’s mercy and healing, my flesh and bone would already been rotten. Indeed, ‘what is man, that you are mindful of him? And the son of man, that you visited him? You make him a little lower than angel, and give him honor and crown him with glory’. I am an imperfect person, a sinner, but in eternity, God has blessed me with honor as my crown. Lord, your love is indeed hard to fathom, great beyond any measure for me to fathom.

Credit: Eng, Raymond. Edited by Angelyn Loh. Translated by Abraham Koo, Raymond Eng, 2020.

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