Get People Help

Get People Help

Here’s an interesting fact: I’m not a pet person.

My last memory of pets in the home was as a child, living with my grandma: meowing kittens; purring cats; soggy milk; and a terrible smell I’ve never shaken off. I don’t hate animals. I’ve been inclined, more than once, to own or keep some, mostly because of my daughter.

When she was six, we were gifted a pair of dogs by a friend and lived with them for a week before their owners found them. We gladly took them back. It happened again when she was 14, but the $25 fee to just keep it in our apartment was a roadblock compared to the upkeep we would foot to care for it. I expect well-kept dogs and a clean, odor-free home – vet visits for vaccines, pet grooming and all. I wasn’t about to care for an animal like I would a human child.

I don’t know if I can be called an “animal lover” – as in “defending their right to exist” while living how I do: drinking cow’s or goat’s milk or eating steak, chicken or fish. I don’t want to sound like a hypocrite, even though there could be other things in my life I’m hypocritical about. We all do. I liken it to not supporting gun control, yet welcoming poaching of African tusks: I don’t think of myself as an “activist” for the ethical treatment of animals. I wouldn’t know how to define that in a logical, common-sense fashion.

I also don’t hold anything against overly doting pet lovers, but what about the ones who abuse their pets? What deranged minds! Yet, if someone I know loses their pet and posts about it on social media – and I don’t make the same comments as if a human passed away – am I being insensitive? I can’t pretend to feel what I don’t. I’m sorry you lost a pet, but I’m not going to pretend to be deeply moved by the incident. Don’t get me wrong: it’s not that I lack compassion for animals. There’s something bigger at heart.

For me, humanity is central. My concern circles that of my fellow beings. I believe many people treat animals better than humans; I struggle with that thought. There are those who spend thousands on surgery for pets, knowing their life expectancy is roughly one-sixth of a human being’s, and I could never understand why. I look at impoverished communities at home and abroad, wondering: Why can’t we do the same for people?

Is this just an American or North American or Western phenomenon? Maybe because of my background, even if my homeland has pets it was never as dire a situation for care as it is in the West. The culture of love and support I saw at home for people is used up on animals here. With all due respect, is there a social disconnect I don’t get?

Animals are God’s creation too. They’re cuddly, adorable and lovable and should be treated well. I understand. However, who comes first: your loved ones or your pets? How far should we go in displaying love for pets, knowing there are millions of human beings enduring far worse around us?

Children all over the world are dying from treatable medical conditions – or are in untenable circumstances and need help. Many others are in war-torn nations, befallen with death and destruction around them. There are children being abused, sold into slavery and sex trafficking.

Perhaps I differ from the crowd, but that is a crisis I truly am moved by. There will be those who dedicate their lives to saving animals, which is needed, but I need to let you know: don’t forget about people. They need help too.

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I arise

I awake in dreadful tears borne
of longsuffering pain,
shame and failure untold.
But I arise to an enduring love,

A perfect love radiating like the sun
hurling away fears
Bearing hope for a new day.
I arise
To arms that languishing souls
embrace,
That to depths of despair
drop! Catching humanity’s tears,

I arise
To your love,
Mending twisted, battered minds
bending away from shoel
From shame so
deep.

Broken you chose me, ‎
You called my shattered pieces to come together
Into this mosaic of your magnificence.

This new day,
‎my good shepherd’s voice
‎resounds and
my spirit quiets.
Peace sings sweetly within me,
Sweet as honeycomb,
His voice of love cocoons me.
prospering my twisted soul and
healing my broken body.

God’s pleasant surprises.

I had an experience recently that reiterated to me that God hears and answers our prayers. I’m sure many of God’s children really do believe and have had their prayers answered. But there have also been those times in our lives it felt like God wasn’t just there or was not listening or had forsaken us. If we’re really sincere, there’s hardly any praying person who hasn’t felt this way. If you journey with the Lord long enough, you’ll get there.
There’s been quite a few times in the recent past when I just wasn’t making a headway with God. I thought I must be praying amiss. Everything that could go wrong was going terribly bad. It would not just rain, but it poured down in torrents. I started to question my method of prayer and decided I’d do some research on how to pray.

In the process, I came across Rick Warren’s teaching on how to pray using the Lord’s prayer as a framework. I dug into the studies and began praying in the manner that the Lord Jesus had thought his disciples to pray. As I learned, “give us this day our daily bread” was an opening portion of the prayer teaching that covered more than just food provision, but other needs as well as our spiritual nourishment, I began to put that into practice.

On this specific day, I got up from my place of prayer desiring some suya.(kebab beef seasoned with so authentic Nigerian spice called yaji). From the blues I wanted suya like a pregnant woman in her cravings. I just whispered under my breath to the Lord that it would be nice to have some. It was a Saturday. I was going to take my car in to get the windows tinted.
I set out to get that done and I recalled there in that same vicinity, was a suya hut. I figured that after the tint on the car windows, I’ll go spend 20 bucks on some. The tint job concluded, I began my journey home only to remember about half a mile out that I didn’t turn into the suya spot. So, I gave up the idea and drove on home. So much for suya. I forget all about it. Not a big deal.

Sunday after church, I took a sister from church for a job interview at my cousin’s house. After the interview my cousin’s wife lit up with a big smile. “Auntie, I have something that you like. Something that you’ve asked me for several times before” She wanted me to guess. I thought for a few seconds; and I said so excitedly “suya”!!! Instantly, the proverbial light bulb lit up in my heart. I remembered my prayer the previous day . “Guess what?” I said. “I prayed for the Lord to provide me some suya yesterday and here he is with my answer today when I wasn’t even expecting it.” Everyone laughed it off. No it wasn’t a coincidence. They probably didn’t make much of it. But I did. I’ve come to recognize those moments when I’m being ministered to. This was one of those times. God cared enough to show me that praying for the little things is his will for his children.

Isn’t God awesome? That’s exactly how he operates in our lives. God confirmed to me in such a simple way that he not only hears my prayers but he answers them at the appropriate time. He has people you don’t even think he can use to bring our answers. Sometimes, they may be total strangers and at other times they may be people we know.
That was God speaking through my host. He’s the only one who knew I had asked for it. Hear her exact words: ” Something you had been asking for”. I had only asked him in a whispered prayer, not really expecting an answer because under the same breath I had plans to buy it myself. I thought it’s only $20 and I could afford it.

Now I realize, if I could afford it and went ahead to buy it, then that wasn’t God answering my prayers. A lot of times we don’t even give God the chance to answer. We try to help Him out. It’s me helping God. That’s the same mistake Sarah and Abraham made. They didn’t wait for the child of promise. Sarah tried to help God by introducing Hagar her maid servant to her husband. We have to trust that God will bring to pass what he has promised. We have to completely trust that when we pray, he hears us. We have to be patient as we wait on Him to come true for us.

God showed up when I lest expected him to. He surprised me in the most pleasant way. What I’m thrilled about is not so much the suya that he provided, but more so the manner, the timing, the confirmation to me that he is there and hears me even when I feel differently. The thought that he responds to what some may regard as mundane. It wasn’t like I was starving, or if I didn’t eat the suya that I would die. It’s just him proving to me his love, how he cares for us even when we express the most trivial desires. If he could provide suya that wasn’t any urgent need in my life, then he can definitely provide the bigger and most desperate need things we desire.
Jesus said, if you who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more would God? If your child asks for fish you would not give him or her a scorpion?

I share this with you because I believe God wanted me to know that he hears all my other requests. Just as I was surprised by the appearance of suya when I had completely forgotten about it, so will he also bring about everything else you and I have been believing him for. Stay in faith. Don’t despair. The answer is on the way. You and I may not know when, but he can be trusted. He will not fail. He is so faithful. What a mighty God we serve! Bless His Holy Name!!!
During all the process of doubt and wondering if God really could hear me? Someone suggested: Try praise when all else seems to fail.