walking with God and my dog is preferable to throwing bricks

I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.

Martin Luther King

“It is a glorious time to be alive”, says few rational people today. However, you would necessarily be forgiven for naivete, had you been a deployed submarine sailor or were stranded on a deserted island for the last six months. But that good outlook is precisely why I love my dog Comet. After unknown experiences and an indeterminate period of life on the streets of San Diego County, Comet has had four years of comfort, dog biscuits, air conditioning and love from his humans. And he revels in the moment with no questions as to why he goes for walks where he goes. He enjoyed a dog-park for a period of time, then did not return for a year, then briefly returned until the park underwent a year of renovation. We got back, only to have the COVID pandemic close the park – and most every other walking trail for months. A week ago, it seemed that a walk in the open indicated that life was going to normalize. And then, a brutal Minnesota man with brutal companions looking on, all charged with public safety, murdered a decent man.

As long as poverty, injustice and gross inequality persist in our world, none of us can truly rest.

Nelson Mandela

I have shamefully been slow to reach out to my black extended-family members, friends, fellow church members, and former colleagues, all who have experienced far more palpable injustice than me. And it is not enough to make the excuse that we all have Jesus as our Lord – who was persecuted and murdered. I have the responsibility to stand up to injustice, violence and persecution whether affecting our fellow citizens, or fleeing Syrians, migrating Latinos, or victims of human trafficking and jihadi terrorism. And also to the irresponsible comments and actions of an elected official causing more dissent than unity.

We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.

Mother Teresa

As a dog-person I know that resolve can help most “bad dogs” recover from the mistreatment of ignorant or brutish people. I don’t know about people’s ability to heal one another, but I do believe God can fix us – if we are willing. Yet I still worry about the world my two-year old grandson (I’m the adopted one) will inherit. His innocence. Time spent with doting grandparents will not shield him from the painful lessons the world teaches as he grows up. As a Christian, it is our responsibility to offer people the lessons of Jesus, and God’s, to change people. God-centered compassion has changed more lives positively than a rioter’s brick.


  1. I forgot to tell my youngsters they had some Polish ancestry. Out of the blue my son had suddenly shown an interest in visiting Poland. Even more interesting, a first cousin of theirs, who had no knowledge of any Polish ancestry, spent months in Poland and eventually married a Polish woman. I am sure our ancestry somehow has a profound influence on our lives.

    Liked by 1 person

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