Monday, May 16, 2011

A picture of courage

I'm posting a link here.  I'm sure there are more interesting ways to include this in a blog, but I'm not all that tech savvy I'm afraid. But I hope you will look at it.

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=148402621896409&set=a.148402501896421.33232.136427856427219&type=1&theater

This is a photograph of a woman who worked at an animal shelter. This looks like a sweet picture, but actually the woman, whose name is Emily, is hugging a dog right before she is to be put to sleep. She is providing one last touch of love and comfort before death. This photo is so heartbreaking that I can't even write about it without crying. Even more heartbreaking is that this woman's employment was actually terminated by this shelter recently. The reason given was that she "wasn't a good fit." Well, I'd guess she wasn't. She dedicated herself to loving these animals, to taking photographs of them and posting them on the internet to try to find homes for them so they wouldn't have to be put to sleep, while apparently this particular shelter is a horrendous place. Another recent article about them said that they euthanized a woman's pet dog of 13 years. The dog had escaped from the house, and she had registered a missing dog report with the shelter, but they picked the dog up and put it to sleep in a matter of just a few days without ever glancing at the missing dog report in their files.

But here is the real reason I want to post this photo. It is because I want to give credit to this woman. People are always talking about how strong I am, or how courageous. They say this because I have survived having my heart broken in a way that they think they might not be able to survive. But in reality, when you are put in this position, there just is no choice but to survive or to die, and dying just doesn't do anybody any good.

It is people like this woman, Emily, who are brave, who are courageous. She is apparently willing to step out there every day and have her heart broken in order to give some measure of love and hope to other creatures, and to do it in an environment where her efforts were not welcomed. This strength of heart pours into the world. There are many lives she has concretely changed for the better, but the spirit of love behind it affects the world at a much deeper level. Unfortunately, it seems to be a drop in the bucket compared to the heartlessness of which the human race as a whole seems so capable. But that only makes it all the more brave, all the more necessary.

To Emily, to all those who voluntarily allow their own hearts to be broken on behalf of the suffering, be they human or animal, God bless you, and may God expand your spirit to blanket this world.

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