be the change

“You should’ve warned me to bring earplugs,” he said to the woman behind the desk. She smiled and nodded politely, in the way that you do when you have to deal with something you can’t really fix, as the animal noises continued in the background.

As we opened the inner door and walked into the shelter part of the humane society, I knew how he was feeling. The barks and howls were incessant. Every so often a lonely beagle would let out the most pitiful cry.

Our visit to apply for our puppy was my first time inside a humane society or shelter. The Cats came to us via a friend of a friend; prior to that we had never considered pets, so it just never came up.

It was so incredibly sad.

As I read about the awful shooting in Connecticut, I came across this blog post from a mother explaining the event to her children. In it, she challenges everyone to be a “light” in the world, to combat the darkness brought into society by the gunman and by others like him by doing good.

Among all of the horrific stories we see every day, her writing struck a chord. I don’t want to copy too much of it here, but I encourage you to read it and to take her mission to heart.

I’m fortunate to go to a school that holds service as a core value and requires students to serve, although I don’t do so nearly often enough.

The animals at the humane society were not being abused in any way–it was simply that they did not have the resources that they deserve (and I use the word deserve sparingly when it comes to animals).

Reading her post and thinking about how fortunate we are made me think–what can I do to be the light in the darkness? There are so many populations to be served: animals, children, the elderly, the impoverished and so on, but it’s also important to serve our family, even if it’s something as small as making dinner because no one else wants to.

What will you do? How will you serve? How will you show light to others in times of great darkness?

“The people lost in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them has the light shined.” –Isaiah 9:2

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