The afternoon brought promise as the sun shined through my windshield into my eyes. The visor was flipped down, however, I am usually out of reach of the visor’s salvation. The sun brought me joy on this crisp afternoon. Driving to a patient’s home in a beautifully manicured neighborhood of mature, now bare trees, gave me joy at the sight of seasons changing. Turning into the drive I prayed and anticipated the next few moments of ministry with an elderly woman. “Lord, help me to communicate Your love.”
I could hear the doorbell ring inside and the slight bark of a big dog. The Spirit reminded me to not be afraid! Dogs smell fear, so I ignore them until they decide they love me and want petted. The Lord taught me this skill while pastoring in a small rural community of pit bulls a few years ago.
The caretaker opened the door with difficulty as she held the animal back with one hand and opened the main door with the other. I opened the storm door to a PIT BULL wanting to get close to me. I smiled under my facemask and ignored the muscular growling canine contained by the tall youthful care attendant of the home. The kind woman motioned me to the back bedroom and I proceeded to walk down the hall, when hit square in the middle of my back by that determined pit bull. There I am lying prostrate on a patient’s floor, sporting a skirt and matching scarf. I was so thankful my shoes and mask stayed in tact this time. It is so embarrassing having to retrieve those articles from the family dog when meeting people the first time.
As I stood as gracefully as possible the pet let me know he did not appreciate someone wearing a mask, that he did not know, strolling back toward his protected mistress. He nipped at my mask, but did not secure it firmly in his teeth, before I was to my feet. The only thing that animal got away with was a bit of my dignity. LOL There was so many blessings in this encounter. The caretaker grabbed the animal once more and put him in a room away from me and closed the door. That reminded me of a verse in Revelation as I adjusted clothing and continued forward toward my goal.
I greeted my patient and she and I exchanged pleasantries and talked of faith, family and life beyond this day. I read scriptures and sang an old hymn for her. Singing with all my heart kept me from noticing the laceration from the scuffle with the four-legged friend in the hall prior. As I sang “What Can Wash Away My Sin?” the blood flowed literally. I did not miss a beat or note. I discreetly reached for the sanitizing wipes at bedside and cleaned up as I sang the second verse.
In these days there are surprises with every door opened, news report, or alarming message sent by a Facebook friend. Yet, there need not be fear as we navigate looking to the One who holds our hand. This strange and weird time may leave a few scrapes, but we can stand secure. Use wisdom, grace and kindness as you go or stay put.
The Lord protected the apostles and they recorded many miraculous events. Some were stoned, imprisoned, and speared. The Lord went with them. Today many faithful servants may perish, but we do not go alone. The Lord promises to be faithful and He cannot fail. We all are important and have jobs to do whether it is checking on friends and neighbors or pouring kindness where anxiety spews. May we be the change we want to see?! Even in passing from this life to eternity is in the hand of an almighty sovereign God who loves us perfectly. Don’t allow another’s fears or yours control a moment that is meant to give God glory albeit a pit bull, pestilence, or people encounter.
This column was written by Rev. DeVon Davis, member of the Pickaway County Ministerial Association, for the Circleville Herald. The views of this column may not necessarily reflect that of the newspaper.