Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Thou Art With Me

My son Matt has just become a summer law intern at a firm in Dallas. He really won the lottery on this position we thought- very well paid, exciting work he loves, and the firm's boss will be out of town so Matt gets to live rent free in the boss's 8,000 foot palace. On top of all that, his wife, Karissa, will be interning at the same firm (she is also a law student.) Their price of admission? They have to walk the boss's dog and let him in the "poop garden". Sounds great, right?

Until you read the fine print. The dog, it turns out, is a Belgian Malinois, and a guard dog, trained to attack. Matt loves dogs, but is afraid of them. He has been bitten a few times. He is not a strong "alpha dog" around dogs, which strong breeds need to remain civil, and in the case of attack dogs, nonfatal. Matt and Karissa took the dog for a walk yesterday, and he said the dog was very well behaved. However, the owner put the dog on the leash, and then sent them on their way. It worries me what happens when they attempt to leash the dog themselves. Suffice it to say that it is all I can do to not book the first flight out there. I have already armed him with mace and an ultrasonic dog zapper...but I am not thrilled with this strange situation at all. Here is the text from Matt.
Matt: "Met the dog. The owner gives it commands in French."
me: "Why? Is the owner french?"
Matt: "No, the owner doesn't want someone giving the 'KILL' command by accident."
me: "ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND??????? What do you mean, 'the KILL command'?"
Matt: "Well, it seems the dog is a guard dog, trained to attack intruders."
Me: "And where is this in the description of law internships- walking trained killer dogs?"

We plan to go walk on the beach tonight. We want to see the luminescent waves and the stars. There will be, as there are every night, a blanket of carnivorous crabs that seep out of every pore of sand and devour every piece of edible substance upon the sand....including human toes. I will go, since my adventurous daughter and hubby think this sounds like great fun, but in the dark, I am envisioning attack crabs, trained to kill.

Life is so despicably filled with unknowns and dangers. God knew this would be so, therefore there is a reason. Fear must have benefits. I think it is perhaps that without fear, there is no reason to trust. Almost every night, I recite the 23rd psalm in my head. I am a fearful person, and I need to remember that God is in control, and that "yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for thou art with me."
If I didn't have that shadow before me, it is possible I would not reach out a trembling hand in the dark to assure myself that indeed, He is with me. Fear is not pleasant, and for those of us who have a heightened awareness of danger, it is sometimes crippling. But the benefit is that we know we need God, those of us who fear. And if fear guides us to trust in the One who can banish all fear, then even the threat of trained attack dogs...or crabs, will have no power over us.

Psalm 112:6-8 (NIV)
Surely the righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever. [7] They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord. [8] Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear; in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.

-save a dog-

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