While paralyzed dogs Mr. Simeon and Miss Mercy are well adjusted to their wheelchairs and use them quite efficiently to get around, two-footed dog Winnie who was apparently run over by a train has never taken much to her wheelchair. Whenever I have put her in it, she usually has just stood there refusing to budge. After all, she is used to hoisting her body up in the air and carting herself around like that, every once in a while placing a leg on the ground as though it were a foot despite her lack of back feet.
But just the other day, as I struggled to coordinate all three dogs in their wheelchairs as I took a little walk down the road in front of my house, I had an idea. Why not let Miss Mercy, with all her bounds of energy, pull Winnie down the street. That way, at least, I would have a slightly easier time trying to get all three dogs to in the same direction without losing any of them along the way. Wouldn’t you know, Miss Mercy ended up helping Winnie to get moving. Not only that, while Winnie would have stopped a short ways after starting in the past, she had to build up her endurance because Miss Mercy was urging her along.
What an incredible sight, and what wonderful joy it brought to my heart to realize the way these two dogs were working together is how we were created on earth to be. Loving one another. Helping one another. And, above all else, loving and serving the Lord.
When God calls us to bear one another’s burdens, He does not mean we should fall down to the ground under the weight of another’s burdens. He wants us to lift up others’ burdens to Him through love, prayer, help, and encouragement for that other person. Just like Miss Mercy helped Winnie along, He wants us to help one another along as we live our lives loving and worshiping Him.
When Miss Mercy got tired pulling and urging Winnie along, I stepped in to help Miss Mercy help Winnie. It reminded me of how the Lord is ever providing His love and encouragement, His strength and comfort, His grace and mercy, pouring into us Himself so that we are equipped to pour His love into others.
As Winnie walked down the little country road with Miss Mercy in the lead and Mr. Simeon accompanying us, she was able to pick up her pace and start to build some endurance of her own. By watching how easily the other dogs were able to walk, and with the help and strength of Miss Mercy, she was able to see that soon she, too, can be walking on her own.
What a joy to witness all this, and how inspiring to be reminded of how we humans are called to walk – with the Lord in the lead, and one another helping along the way.
Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2 NASB
Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 NASB