There was this man who had a dog which he was attempting to train, but alas had very little success. He was on the verge of despair when he happened across a very charismatic evangelist. He unburdened his soul to him, and he promptly informed him to leave the dog with him, and he would have it trained in a jiffy.
The next day the man returns, and asks how the evangelist got on. The reply was positive, and the evangelist calls the dog to give a demonstration. Picking up a stick, he throws it and says, “Fetch.”
Instantly the dog takes off, grabs the stick and returns. The evangelist says, “Drop” and the dog drops the stick at his feet.
“Roll over,” and the dog rolls over. By this time the dog’s owner is very excited, and asks if he can have a go.
“Sure,” replies the evangelist.
“Heel,” says the owner and the dog lifts one paw, places it on the man and says, “I command this sickness to leave you…”
I think dogs would make wonderful evangelists!
My friend was to be gone all day today, and I offered to check on her dog, Buddy. I went over to Buddy’s house shortly before noon. I entered through the garage door, and expected to be greeted by a yapping, tail-wagging dog. No dog. “Buddy! Buddy!” I repeatedly called out. After a few minutes, Buddy finally emerged. Now Buddy is old, so I don’t know if he hadn’t heard me when I first entered his house, or if he was being cautious towards me. Buddy knew me from previous visits so I was hardly a stranger to him. Oh well. As I searched for and retrieved a leash for him, he started showing a little excitement at the prospect of a walk. “Walk, Buddy? Want to go for a w a l k ??” I clicked the leash onto his collar and we were out the door.
Now, I have only owned two dogs in my lifetime and they were both females. Buddy is a male. As we walked around the block, I was amused at how we had to stop at every vertical pole or tree or shrub so he could whiz on it. Really Buddy? Must you? I just found it so funny. “Leaving your mark, huh Buddy?” I laughed again at his latest squirt. And that’s when I realized what a great evangelist he would be! He was stopping every where to leave his mark. Sprinkle a little of himself. Wow – if only we humans could sprinkle a little bit of Christianity where ever we stepped. Buddy took his time and was very thorough. If an evangelist ever thought twice about making a stop somewhere because they knew they were among people of another faith, well Buddy never wavered making his mark on a lawn that boasted another resident canine. I started calling him “Mark”. That was a much better name. “Mark. Mark. Mark.” I kept saying ‘cuz that’s what he kept doing.
Did you know that dogs are mentioned in the NIV version of the bible about forty times! They aren’t always nice references – but dogs are mentioned. I did a little search about dogs and Christianity and found this interesting article:
Dogs in Christianity
Although there are a few negative depictions of dogs in Christianity, it is the most tolerant of the major religions. A great number of Christians believe that the shepherds who once visited Jesus brought dogs with them. Because of their dogs are often depicted in nativity scenes.
Many saints are also depicted as having canine companions. Saint Patrick was said to have been guided on many occasions by a large gray dog, whose chest bore the mark of a white cross. Saint Margaret of Cortona is often depicted with a dog tugging at her skirt, this is largely due to stories of her being dragged to church by a dog. Grigio, a gray colored mutt, was the protector of Saint Giovanni Melchoir, also known as Don Bosco. Bosco was a priest who worked mostly with children in the slums of Turin, Italy. Throughout the many stories of the saints and their dogs, there is always a recurring theme, which is that the dogs are messengers of God, always leading saints to safety and testing their loyalty.
I had a good little walk with Buddy, er, uh, I mean with Mark. It was fun to see him so joyously spread his good news! You know we are all, in essence, evangelists, if we happen to mention Christ in our day-to-day activities. I hope I can be like Buddy – I mean Mark – and spread the good news joyfully and unashamedly to everyone!