The dog in the fight
There was more than one dog in the fight. We heard the commotion late one night outside on our deck. The pack of dogs that run together in our neighborhood decided to visit our place. The crash we heard was the grill shoved against the door. Tables and chairs were shoved aside by the bodies of the dogs, and we knew disaster was at hand. By the time we got there, the trash can was overturned and its contents scattered. Underneath the mass of black and brown was a tan dog, smaller than all the rest. He howled and tried to get away, but he was no match.
A bucket of water on their backs did not deter them, so Dave shoved them apart with the first object he could get his hands on. In seconds, they were gone. The dogs ran off together as though there had been no scrape. The chaos they left behind proved what had taken place. The dog who lives at our house stayed behind, probably glad to see them gone. The only marks she sustained were the piles of froth on her back from the mouths of the other dogs.
No dog in the fight
We didn’t have a dog in the fight, and I was not happy that these dogs invaded my territory. We didn’t even have a dog in the fight, I thought. Why did they have to come to my space and unsettle the quiet? Then I found myself wondering what that phrase means. This I found: “If you have no dog in a fight, you are not concerned and will not be affected either way by the outcome of something.”
Basically, if it doesn’t affect me, or mine, I do not need to (or intend to) concern myself with the matter. It is also saying that it’s really none of my business, and therefore I won’t get involved.
The problem with this logic is that there is always an effect to someone, even if it is not to me. There are others who have dogs in the fight and there’s nothing they can do about it. Since I don’t have a dog in the fight, do I really need to care? Does it need to matter to me?
We must, instead, model to our children and to others what Jesus taught: to do to others what we would want them to do to us. When we are down and out and being kicked about, we need someone to help rescue us. So this year, let’s look for folks we can help rescue. We begin by looking for the needs of others and helping our children understand those needs as well.
To prepare our kids for life, we should involve them in ministry. Whether we’re singing for elderly neighbors, visiting in the nursing home, or reaching out to downtrodden in our community, it matters. Beyond the walls of our community are villages and people who need our help. We might not be able to travel to those places, but we can send others who can. We can partner with other ministries, and our children can help partner with us. This is something I wish we would have done better with our kids.
No matter where or how we’ve failed in the past, there is still today – and tomorrow. So go ahead. Do something about the dogs in the fight.
Don’t turn your face the other way. Do not ignore abuse, poverty, prostitution, or trafficking just because you don’t have a dog in the fight. Help your kids think about others instead of themselves. Encourage your teenagers to reach out to those who need a friend. Ask God to give you a heart to minister to those near you.
In this New Year, consider what God wants you to do – who He wants you to reach – even though you have no dog in the fight. Make a difference so there won’t be any debris left. Do your part to help get rid of the dogs in the fight. Don’t do it because I said so, but because Jesus did.
Organizations that make a difference
There are many organizations helping in the name of Christ. Some of them are more familiar than others. You certainly can find places to contribute and to help physically. Here is a list of organizations with which I have personally had experience. Each one of these is near and dear to my heart.
Compassion International. A child-advocacy ministry pairing compassionate people with children living in extreme poverty to release the children from spiritual, economic, social, and physical poverty.
Good Hope. Equestrian and Regenerative Farm. (Local to this community.) “Where the hope of healing the soul and soil come together!”
Kingdom Channels. Making disciples of Christ and establishing assemblies which uphold all HIs teachings among every unreached people group of the 10/40 window.
O.U.R. Operation Underground Railroad. “We exist to rescue children from sex trafficking and sexual exploitation. We offer freedom and healing to survivors of human trafficking and exploitation through direct intervention and aftercare.”
Plain Compassion. Resources and leadership to humanitarian disasters in the US and around the world.
Preemptive Love. Fear leads to violence. Violence leads to war. Preemptive Love unmakes violence. We stretch across Iraq, Syria, Latin America, the United States, and beyond, working together to unmake violence and create the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible.
Samaritan’s Purse. International Disaster Relief. The mission of Samaritan’s Purse us to follow the example of Christ by helping those in need and proclaiming the hope of the Gospel. [think Christmas Shoeboxes].