The protector of Rome
Sometimes a dog is not really a man’s best friend.
Writing last weeks column got me thinking some more about our dog, Thor. As I said before, we rescued him from the pound as a puppy. The day we brought him home, he was small enough to fit in the palms of my son Brandon’s hands. He was very shy at first and after some observation we decided he was probably abused by his previous owner. He has a break in his tail. When you reached down to pet him he would cower, put his ears back, and tuck his tail under his legs. He slept under our coffee table for the first couple of weeks after we brought him home. The vacuum sweeper is his mortal enemy. Our first sweeper was the kind with the soft bag on the front. He literally used to attack the sweeper any time we ran it and eventually tore the bag on that old one. Our love for him as a family has transformed him in many ways, but his past remains an interesting mystery to us still at times.
Thor is a fiercely protective dog more than any dog I have ever known. This fact about him has earned him the nickname “The Protector of Rome.” (A reference to the movie “Gladiator.”) He is very protective over the whole family, but there are some quirks in his protectiveness. From time to time, the wife and I will have a tickle fight. I cannot win if Thor is in the room. (A fact the wife continually exploits.) He will literally bite my closest wrist and pull my arm out of the conflict.
He barks threateningly and will not calm down until I stop playing around. If the wife tickles me, he does nothing but watch quietly, but as soon as I make a move, he continues with the biting and barking. If I stop playing with the wife and turn my attention on Thor, he will play fight with me until I get tired of it.
It almost seems as if he is trying to draw my attention away from the wife and saying, “Pick on me instead.” It is the same thing if Brandon and my wife are play fighting, but Thor does not bite Brandon he just barks at him.
This got me thinking about our relationship with Christ.
Have you ever been running late getting ready to go somewhere and saw that a bad car accident had taken place right when you would have been driving past that same spot? Have you ever sensed dread or danger for some unexplainable reason and prayed about it, and then the feeling passed? Have you ever been weak and ready to give into a certain temptation only to find that no matter how hard you try you are unable to do so?
I wonder sometimes just how much God protects us in times that we have no idea that we are in danger. I believe he extends that love to all humanity, but it is also quirky and hard to figure out. Why does he protect people the way that he does, and how does he decide whom he favors? Most of us have people that we are praying for, and people who are praying for us. How does God decide whom to help and protect?
I was at a party one night. There was lots of drinking and drug use going on. (Obviously during my B.C. days.) Some guys from another neighborhood had crashed the party. Things got out of hand and a fight broke out in the front yard. I opened the door to rush out and join the fight and saw a silhouette in the yard about 20 feet ahead of me just as I ran out.
I heard a small popping sound and saw a tiny flash of light … the bullet missed my head by inches. I still think about that night every once in awhile. Was it luck? Or did God preserve my life when I could have done nothing to preserve it myself? This was months before I actually was saved as well, and while I was still deep in sin.
I do not understand the quirks surrounding Thor or God’s protectiveness … but I am glad to have it when it is there.