The Dog With a Sore Paw

The Dog With a Sore Paw

by Sr. Helen McKenna MMM                              Ireland/Tanzania                                           15.04.2024

I have a friendly dog at home. He could always be trusted even to play with the children.  One day, while I am playing with him, I grasp his paw. He sinks his teeth into my wrist. I am horrified.]

I think to myself, this dog can no longer be trusted if he bites. Take him to the Vet and have him put down.

Before doing so, I decide to look at his paw and there I find my dog has a thorn in his paw. It is infected and sore. Now that I know why he bit me, I say, “Poor dog, he’s hurting. Bring him to the Vet and have him healed”.

What changed? I am still bleeding from my wrist, still in pain.
What changed was my attitude. I now feel sorry for the dog and have compassion on him. I understand that he bit me in order to get me to release my grip on his sore paw.

I only dis-covered the reason why he bit me when I ‘had another look’ (to look again or to respect) when I had respect for the dog.

When someone hurts me, I remember the ‘Dog with the Sore Paw’ and try to imagine what hurt in them is making them ‘bite’ me. Then I can have compassion on them. It doesn’t take away my pain but it makes it easier to bear.

When I reflect on my own sinfulness, I realise that I hurt other people because I have a ‘sore paw’. Now, I can forgive myself and have compassion on my sore paw. I bring my ‘sore paw’ to The Healer, Jesus. He holds my sore paw in His hands and forgives and heals me.

Jesus, heal all those whom I have hurt because of my sore paw.