In this weeks New York Times there was an article intriguingly titled “The Fox Who Came to Dinner”. It tells the tale of Karen Auvinen and her journey with a fox in the Denver mountains.
Over three years she feed the fox, spent money on treatment for a damaged hind leg, and bought medicine for the fox when it was afflicted with mange. All this for a predator who nosed around the porch of her cabin looking for scraps. It was an unusual choice for a pet.
Karen tells of how the fox appeared on the anniversary of the death of her beloved Husky, Elvis, and at a time when she was navigating the complexities of a long distance romance. There was something comforting for Karen in the presence of the red fox. Yet, there was something else the tale revealed. The beauty of caring for someone or something when there is no advantage to self.
She understood the insanity of her growing affection for the fox. She writes,
“There were a million reasons not to feed the fox, the least of which was the bigger predators he might attract. But it was too late. He’d developed a habit of sitting on the deck at the top of the steps, just as Elvis had, watching the yard from his perch. Ridiculously, I worried he didn’t have enough food. There were even nights when I went barefoot out into the snow to look for him, calling his name.”
It is amazing the relationships that can be forged and the care given when we ignore the million of little reasons why we shouldn’t. When we put aside the pursuit of self interest for the good of another, there is a surprising byproduct. Joy. Karen discovered this for a fox of all things.
Who is God bringing to your porch? Who is the unlikely one which you can find a million reasons not to help, but you know you should?