Prayers for Dog Fighters [Ugh]

[Prayer Sparked by: Carolyn Custis James‘ recent HuffPo piece on the lack of grace afforded Michael Vick]

God,

One of the best and worst things about you is grace, of course. It’s so the best when you shower it on me, a million times a day, when I eff up. Royally or tiny-ly. So the best when you show it to my kids, my husband, my friends. When you let us wallow in it, practically drown for all the gulping of it that we do.

But then it’s so the worst when you extend it to the monsters. For instance, to those who abuse and taunt, torture and taint dogs to be used to fight one another. Grace stings when I remember you offer fresh mercies you offer even those who’ve left pit bulls for dead in rings, for those who bring dogs to vets to have their bitten-off ears patched up, to those who chain dogs to trees, who offer muzzled “bait dogs,” who take money for the torment of sweet, sweet dogs.

Your grace is for them, God. And some—most—days I hate that. But since it’s true whether my rotten self likes it or not, God, I pray for the dog-fighters. For those right now who cheer on horrors, who laugh at a dog’s pain, who cause a dog’s suffering.

Be near those folks. Be good to those folks. In the midst of the cruelty, shine through. Reveal your goodness. Break their hearts. Change their minds. Bend their wills. Let them see as you do. Turn their eyes from profit and toward their actions. Let them cringe at the suffering they inflict.

Let them seek to soothe their own pain—whatever monstrous hurt inside them leads them to this kind of brutality in the first place—in a new way. Be a balm to them. Let today be day one of their turn-around, of the redemption story you are so good at, of the redemption stories you write and work out every day. Let these dog-fighters drown in your grace and your mercy and your love and your healing. And give them hearts to love you. And the dogs.

 

Amen.

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