I have long believed I am divinely guided and that with God nothing is impossible. I put that belief to the test when I discovered a dog in a desperate situation.

One summer, I heard whimpering for a couple of days coming from my neighbor’s yard, but I could not see a dog anywhere. I walked over to the fence and was stunned to see a short white furry snout sticking out of a hole in my neighbor’s backyard shed. I was shocked a dog was locked in a shed on such a hot day.

I saw my neighbor in front of his house, but I hesitated to approach him. I found him so unpleasant and intimidating that I felt scared to be around him. Even so, I approached him cautiously. “Excuse me,” I said timidly. “Do you mind if I feed and water the dog in your shed?” He sneered and said, “I don’t care what you do. Just don’t bother me.”

I prepared food and water and took them over without delay. The dog was so happy when I opened the door to the shed that I forgot all about my fear. I decided on the spot to call him Simon. After greeting me excitedly by jumping and wagging his tail, he gobbled the food and slurped up all the water in less than five minutes. After a brief visit, I felt heartbroken to return him to the shed and leave him alone again.

I knew the right thing was to report the situation to animal control, but my fear of my neighbor stopped me. In addition to being gruff and physically intimidating, he also had a reputation in the neighborhood for suspected criminal activity. I feared retribution if I reported him for animal abuse.

Finally, I decided to release my concerns in prayer. Over and over again, I turned to God, opening myself to guidance, inspiration, and solutions that eluded my imagination. I cared for Simon during the day and cried with worry at night. On the third night, I believe my prayers were answered when a big storm hit.

Ominous rumbles of thunder and dazzling lightning strikes ushered in the fiercest winds I have ever felt—so strong they shook my house. My thoughts went to Simon, all alone and likely quite scared. I closed my eyes and prayed for Simon’s safety and for my peace of mind.

By tapping into divine mind through prayer, I knew what was mine to do, and I was ready to act quickly when it was time to do it.

In the morning, I woke before dawn to check on the dog. As I approached the fence, I saw Simon! He was outside the shed, although I couldn’t see how he had gotten out. But I realized my neighbor would assume his dog had escaped and run away. I took it as a sign to act. I coaxed him to come to me through a hole in the fence, part of a plan to get him to a local shelter.

After daybreak, I surveyed my neighbor’s yard and discovered the shed’s double doors had blown completely off the hinges during the storm. I knew the timing could not have been coincidental. By tapping into divine mind through prayer, I knew what was mine to do, and I was ready to act quickly when it was time to do it. I felt the presence of God active in this situation, guiding me as I worked to rescue Simon.

I know not everyone will agree my actions were ethical, but I felt I had no option. Simon’s safety was my priority, and I felt compelled to act on his behalf. Ultimately, Simon was adopted by a new family, and I was blessed by a beautiful demonstration of discerning and trusting divine mind’s guidance. I am comforted in the knowledge this power and presence is always available to draw upon. All it takes is a renewing of my human mind coupled with the faith that nothing is impossible with God.

If you suspect animal abuse or neglect, contact your local animal control center.

About the Author

Darlene Parnell is a licensed clinical social worker in private practice in Fishers, Indiana. Learn more about her at darleneparnelllcsw.com.


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