Three small words. One huge statement.

“I’ll go sleep in the woods with this dog before I give it away to a shelter.”

(this comment delivered deadpan)

…from a gentleman going from A-Z under the heading of “churches” in the phone book. He quit drugs 2 years ago and is now suffering from cardiac sudden death syndrome and is awaiting his disability hearing. He and his wife of 17 years are facing eviction next week and his vehicle (a $150 beater that someone gave him) was totalled this past week. They have no income. He has nothing of value except the “$3000 dog” that someone gave him.

We (Granger Community Church) is not in a place to solve his problem and part of my job as Care Coordinator – with the hope of finding help and the ability to resource them – is sometimes asking hard questions. After hitting many brick walls, it occasionally (more often these days) comes to the point where I have to ask the hardest ones:

“Do you have a place to go if you lose your home? Family, friends?”

I try to explain the tough reality that he may need to find a shelter.

Many people divert attention to the care of their pets. They love them and can’t imagine sending them to the humane society where they could be euthanized or to a refuge organization where they will never get them back.

I have pets. I love them. If it came to it, would I give them up and take my family to a shelter?

At this point, he is trying to hold on to something, another living creature, for comfort when everything else is about to be lost.

I have never been in that place. I don’t know the turmoil in the heart and mind of a person in this situation that causes this to be a tough decision.

It’s hard being the voice of reality sometimes. It rips at my heart to have to tell someone that I can’t help them. The only thing I can do is pray. This situation is beyond me.

I am seeing an increase in calls for assistance and this one made my heart hurt. I know, it could have been someone trying to “scam” the church. But I choose not to be jaded and err on the side of mercy.

So often people wait until the situation is past the point of repair before seeking help. Three small words, so hard to speak.

“I need help.”

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