It is said that a dog can smell your fear. If there is any truth to that, then I’m certain every dog in the city could smell me the day I looked across an open lot and saw a thick black bundle of muscle and energy tearing at full speed toward me.
As if a dog barreling at me full throttle wasn’t enough to have all my senses on edge, it was a secondary concern. Two men were approaching me from the other side.
As a foreigner in their land and the city, I had been exploring the neighborhood. I saw escalating tensions between these two men. Their body language gestures and yelling signaled there was about to be an exchange of knuckles.
Though I didn’t understand the shouts coming from their mouths, the scene about to unfold seemed clear. I stood across the street mesmerized, just staring at them.
I was so caught up in the drama that I suddenly yelled, “Stop it!!” The words kind of jumped out of my mouth with a challenging authority.
It worked. They did indeed “stop it” – and now both focused their attention on me.
The two men instantaneously became “frenemies.” They now had a common outlet for their anger: me.
They spoke momentarily with each other, then in tandem started walking directly toward me. This wasn’t going to be a friendly “meet and greet” when they reached their destination (which again, was me!).
It was at this moment that out of the corner of my right eye I saw something shiny and black making a beeline for – yes, once again – me!
A proper beatdown was approaching from the left and a brutal mauling from the right.
I prayed and I stayed, knowing at any moment pain was going to “come calling.”
My attention turned to the dog (Is it a Rottweiler? I vexed); at his speed, he would arrive first. Before I could offer my weak and useless left arm for his dining pleasure, he was in front of me!
My heart threatened to come out of my chest as I opened my mouth to yell or scream. Nothing came out but air.
The two men who had been approaching me no longer existed in my world. There was only “The Dog.”
He didn’t pounce. There was no barking or teeth-baring. To my surprise, I felt him rub the left side of his head against my right leg.
I didn’t swallow; I remained motionless, still afraid to move. Yes, it was indeed a Rottweiler and he had been docked. But I saw the stub of what was left of his tail move – a good sign.
I took one step gingerly. There was no sudden movement. Then another step.
The dog walked alongside me.
I now turned my head and attention to the two men who had been approaching me. My eyes met theirs, only steps away. Their eyes were drawn to the Rottweiler as he remained close to my side as if he were mine.
They turned and walked away silently. I continued walking slowly, still not trusting enough to reach down and touch my “protector.”
After a few more steps – as if his master had called him – my dark shiny escort turned and ambled off across the lot from which he had come.
This entire experience reminded me that God doesn’t always remove us from harm’s way or deliver us from it. But He does promise to accompany us through the storms.
Nowadays when I “smell” my own fear, I try to remember the very thing that scares me the most may be what our LORD uses for His purposes in my life or others’, or just for His glory.
Written by Jeff, LIFE Staff Member
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