A Merciful Moment

Paintings by Laurie Snow Hein
“If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.”
St. Francis of Assisi
I headed out the door today, dogs in tow. I felt we all needed to move. Quiet time seemed…well, quiet. As in, today just sitting in my chair on the patio watching nature’s busyness and pondering, was as far as I got with God. Sometimes quiet time needs to be- just quiet. Bible closed, journal aside, devotions and all other helps laid to rest. Stillness sometimes is what our souls crave. I believe sometimes God is working beneath the surface (for real) and he does not need our help. Except to just sit still.
Then comes the time when I feel I need to move, and dog walking with God often leads to much
 pondering, insights and stumbled upon moments of truth. Just ask the dogs, they know! 
But today as we wrapped up the Post Quiet Time walking excursion, I was going to be led closer to Him, all because of a very small…insignificant to some – life. A tiny life, that most likely may not last the length of this post. These things, all are from God, and we trust Him for all that confronts us with reality in the day called today.
As we three come down the straightaway that our home is on, a road straight and long that leads right down to the beautiful beach; that tempts many to drive beyond the speed limits with hurry and anticipation, I see it. A small, ball of fur stretched out close to the curb, opposite the sidewalk we are walking. I double take, sad, but knowing. I pray for the little life insignificant to many, before me to my God because I know nothing else to ask, but I do- “Please Lord take that little one with you, do not let it suffer”.  No, I did not just see that sweet little head move, did I? I question, Lord, no… please. A small head flops limp. My stomach jumps. The cars speed by. Crumpled life insignificant, my heart racing at the fact. I get the dogs in the house, quickly. I don’t want to go back and face, pain…suffering…helplessness. But I do. I pray for the small life I see. Not wanting an interruption to my day but unable to do anything but what the present moment requires. Mercy. I am all Jesus, now because the coward in me has made herself known- can’t see such fragility…but I avail myself to the moment to that which I have no answer for…these reminders of death. 
I had just been thinking about that on my walk. Death. Just as I stood by the tall bushes, dogs sniffing and my mind thinking about the irony of Spring…so full of hope, new life and promise. But also the glimpse of death to come. Spring full of young, fragile life…birds, bunnies and deer. Flowers, lush grass and beauty. Cars, roads and death. I was thinking of Spring, and life and death and how I’m getting older. There is no escaping goodbyes to some as life moves on in years, yet also the abrupt surprises of life taken too soon. Death has always made me angry.   
Before Christ I dared it and feared it. But now I mourn with all of heaven over that which has been brought into the world through sin and rejoice in what will come through Christ’s victory over both sin and death.
I grab paper towel and a box quick in the garage, walk (see me so brave?) right over to this fur I see is a small bunny, praying please let it be gone, Lord, with you wherever you keep sweet, precious creatures that you yourself have made. But I must know for sure the condition of this one. My eyes have seen. My conscience can’t escape.
I stoop down low, caring little about the cars. A bus stops. Two cars stop. All want to see this fragile little life pausing at the tenderness so small. So still. I see his eyes, his rapid bunny breaths, he tries to lift his head. 
I am fearless. 
Who am I?
I press paper towel gently on him – unsure exactly what I am doing, applying my hands firmly for comfort and stability. Another car stops and the bunny as I try to gently scoop him begins his attempt to flee. But, he is no condition to flee and I hold him, though he gets to the grass in a yard now. The kind stranger stays while I run and get a cage and a towel. Clearer thinking now. 
I think back to the walk I had Sunday,  Mother’s Day; how I saw many baby bunnies playing, feeding and what joy they brought to me. I tried not to think about the road and death then…but I am a mother and mothers think sober thoughts. They look hard at the beauty of life…and death and swallow hard; are brave.
I swallow hard. We, together manage to get the shocked, injured bunny into the cage. I make the drive to our local Wildlife Pet Clinic. I say little to my God on the way except, “Don’t let this be for nothing, Lord.” I then contemplate how everything belongs to Him anyway. I am an emotional basket-case and a calm Dr. Doolittle with a touch of Florence Nightingale thrown in for good measure.
The drive seems long. 
I reach my destination, and bring the bunny in to this place which I am grateful exists. 
I open the hatch and peek in. He looks so …close. 
I make my way inside. The staff there (always wonderful and amazing), immediately put me at ease. This is what they do. This bunny has had serious head trauma. But he is kicking. I did what I should have done. 
I drive home, and discuss with my God the fact that I have no idea why he felt the need to bring this into my experience today. He knows me. He knows I could not just walk by that suffering bunny. 
I could have left it you know.
That bunny would have died by the side of the road. 
In a few hours, perhaps. Or days. Hanging on. 
Clinging to life. 
But that was not His fate. 
And perhaps you think I should have just let nature take it’s course.
He might survive or more likely they will euthanize depending on the extent of the injuries.
I trust that it is In His hands.
But God had a plan for me to comfort a dying bunny today.
I don’t know why.
So that’s what I did. 
What would you do?

“Not to hurt the creatures brethren is our first duty to them,
but to stop there is not enough. We have a higher mission –
to be of service to them wherever they require it.”
Saint Francis of Assisi

I want to just make a small request if you are reading this today…
Here is the website of this Clinic below. 
Check it out but also support your own local Wildlife Clinic and know 
where it is if you end up needing their services!
Here is their Facebook Page!
Would you give them a “like” for support?
I thank God for those who help take care 
of those who cannot help themselves 
but suffer at the hands of our “progress”.
Let’s be careful driving…it’s WILD out there! 


Beholding Glory

Published by enthusiasticallydawn

Dawn Paoletta is the author of Journaling for Discovery and Delight. Her writing is included in several anthologies and her poems have been included in the Wickford Poetry and Art Exhibit and Books. Dawn is currently working on her next book. Inquiries at dawn.paoletta@gmail.com

19 thoughts on “A Merciful Moment

  1. How fortunate for that sweet bunny that you came along…even if he only got to live a few more hours, they were made more comfortable because you cared. I believe Jesus loves all the little creatures of the world…after all, He created them, so why wouldn't He? You did the right thing. Thank you.


  2. Of course, I'll give them a like!Death. So glad you brought it up…a subject we should discuss more often.Love your blog…I'm following in future…it fits my sea-loving, meditative soul.


  3. Gosh, I didn't expect to have misty eyes with this one, but I do. You are awesome. Your story and those Assisi quotes really make me think about the times I have passed suffering with no second thought. Thank you for opening my eyes today. This was beautiful.


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