- photo courtesy of pugdogpups.com
When I was young, very young, I was terrified of dogs. Many good night’s rest were spoiled by nightmares of being chased by the four-legged beasts. I frequently crawled beneath the covers of my parent’s bed, with mom on one side and my dad on the other.
In defense of all good dogs, much of my fear was self-inflicted. There was a family down the street who owned a small black pug. The house had a concrete sidewalk that led straight up to the front porch. The dog used to sleep on the porch right in front of the door, guarding the path to his owners. I can’t say why we thought it so entertaining, but we used to terrorize the poor animal. We would tiptoe down the sidewalk, pelt the dog with the rocks, then hightail it for our house. The dog would immediately give chase, nipping at our legs all the way home. We, of course, screamed and cried and blamed the bad behavior on the dog. All of that just added more fuel to my fear of the animals.
Later, after we moved away, I had two buddies who lived within a few short blocks of our new home. They shared my kindergarten class and one day were bragging about which one of them owned the meanest dog in the world ……….. I made a mental note to avoid that part of the neighborhood.
One Saturday afternoon, my brothers and I were out for a bike ride when they made a turn to go down the particular road where these guys lived. I begged my brothers, I implored, I pleaded and cried, “Please don’t go down that road. The meanest dog in the world lives down there. He’ll eat us alive!” My brothers tried to persuade me that nothing would happen, but they couldn’t convince me. I had heard my friends’ argument and I believed them: the meanest two dogs on the face of the planet were down that road, and I wasn’t riding no bike that way.
photo courtesy of Tatyana Tomsickova – dreamstime.com
So, my brothers went ahead without me. I watched their backs as they pedaled down the hill, my older brother on his bike and my younger brother on his tricycle. It was a sad moment and I cried; I bawled heavy tears at the thought of never seeing them alive again.
I don’t know who she was, I never asked her name. But a young girl, not much older than me, came out of her house and saw me crying. She walked up to me and asked what was wrong. I explained the whole story to her. She, assured me that everything would be fine and that my brothers would be back soon. We sat down on the grass in her front yard, she put her arm around me and we waited.
She was right; before long, my brothers reappeared from around the block, unscathed by the ferocious canines. I mounted my bicycle and we headed back home.
I never did find out who that girl was. I don’t recall ever seeing her in later years; it’s possible she moved away. But if you are reading this and you were that girl, I would just like to say, “Thank you. Thank you for showing compassion to a scared little boy who was overwhelmed with fear for someone he loved.”
Psalm 8:2 – Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.
Prayer – Lord, we only exist because you have given us breath. We acknowledge that every life is precious in your sight, so we ask that you would intercede for children of the world who cannot defend themselves. For parents who are struggling with a decision to abort a child, we ask that you would turn their hearts to believe that their baby is not a mistake, but a gift from you with the potential to accomplish immeasurable good. All praise and honor to the Giver of Life.