I heard a story about a young boy in India, who every day, fed a little group of some dozen Stray Street dogs in his village. He would beg scraps, then feed the little pack who came to depend on him.
One day a man – in exasperation – asked him “The world is full of stray dogs – what difference does feeding these few make?”
The little boy lent down and patted the head of the smallest dog. “Yes” he said, the world is full of stray dogs, but for these little dogs what I am doing means all the world.”
The world around us, as we journey further into 2019, feels an insecure and unstable place: we can feel alone, overwhelmed and lost. But each of us has our own little bit of the world, with friends, neighbours, families, in which we can make a difference. We can’t change the world, but we can make that little bit of it we inhabit better, happier more positive.
This month on 6th March, Lent will begin with Ash Wednesday. Lent is a good time to review our lives, to look at the way the world impacts on us and we on the world. I commend using the great passage from Chapter 13 of St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians, vs 4-6 as a template:
4 Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant5or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;6it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth.
We can ask ourselves, reflecting back on each day – when have I been impatient, or envious or boastful or arrogant or rude? Have I bulldozed my own way through, riding roughshod over somebody else? Have I taken out my irritability on someone else or been resentful? When have I been colluded with bad behaviour? If we ask ourselves these questions honestly, we can amend our behaviour in the little bit of the world we inhabit, and so make it - & our hearts & souls – better places.
It will be a Good, Holy and Healing Lent.
“Yes” said the little boy, “the world is full of stray dogs, but for these little dogs what I am doing means all the world.”