Friday, June 19, 2009

Street Ministry - 6-18-9


Marion/Harrison Street

As I had mentioned I had a thought of Solomon (my golden retriever) pulling my little red wagon and accompanying me on my street ministry walks. To explore the feasibility of that on Tuesday, a day of steady rain, I took Solomon with me on the Middlebury Street ministry route and he did very very well. He was very well behaved and people who wouldn't have paused for a moment for me and my message, walked across the street to see Solomon. I was kind of torn about taking him with me on Marion/Harrison Street. I thought about it much of the day. My main concern was that there are a large number of pit bulls in the neighborhood and could I protect Solomon if one was loose and attacked him. I ultimately decided there were advantages to having him along and that I would depend on God for His protection. . .

It wasn't raining, so more people would be out and unlike Tuesday, I really needed to take the wagon. The wagon carries a little box of my Bible verse cards, which if I meet someone with a particular need, I am able to find an appropriate Bible verse card to share with them. . . the Word of God is the Sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17), and like any sword, it is intended and designed to be used as a weapon to defend ourselves from attacks of the enemy. I love sharing Bible verses of power to drive away fear and uplift the soul. . . I also carry Bibles to give away, various tracts, past fliers, and I usually have some daily devotionals which I buy at Goodwill to hand out to people as needed. I can't remember who, but someone also gave me a little first aid kit to carry along. . .

In my mind I thought I had figured out how I would be able to pull the wagon and lead Solomon at the same time. I went home and got him and then went to church to get the wagon and my various supplies. We loaded up and departed for Marion Street. I parked just west of Third Street, next to the Congregational Church there. Got everything unloaded and started down the sidewalk.

The first stop is always the large apartment building on the north side of Marion. It has three levels of above ground apartments and a lower level of what might be called half basement apartments. The stairs are kind of rotten and not too steady on the lower level, so I left Solomon with the wagon, on impulse not merely telling him to 'stay', but also looping his leash through the handle of the wagon.

He is a very calm dog, and he did very well with the 'stay' command when I went to leave fliers on porches Tuesday, so that I was quite confident that he would do well in staying near the wagon. I was below street level and had just hung the flier on the door knob of the apartment. I didn't have a clear view of Solomon, but as I was climbing back up the creaky old stairs, I heard the handle of the wagon hit the ground with a little bang. . .immediately followed by the sound of the wagon and Solomon taking off down the sidewalk. . .

Oh my God!!!. . .the terror in Solomon's eyes. . . It was horrible and I was totally helpless. . .he began running pell mell down the sidewalk with the wagon tied to him. . . biting at his heels. . .following him. . .in his eyes this mechanical nightmare immediately behind him, no matter what direction. . . as I frantically called him, turning coming toward me, turning again and running away. . .the wagon dragging on its side, making this horrible grinding noise. . .no matter how fast he ran, never able to shake it. . . and then from one side of Marion Street to another. The wagon careening wildly behind him. . . terrorizing him more and more. . . everything spilling out across the street and down the sidewalk. The wagon going on its side and then righting itself again as it hit the curb. Finally in the funeral home parking area he ran near a small tree and changed direction. The leash became taut around the tree and the wheels of the wagon caught and held like a land anchor. . . A Hispanic man, having watched all this from the sidewalk garage sale at his house, quickly ran and held onto the wagon (wisely rather than trying to touch Solomon in his frenzied state) until I could arrive.

It was the most horrible thing. It was really a matter of seconds until it was over. Once in motion, there was absolutely nothing I could do, but watch as the chain of events unfolded in front of my eyes. . .I felt utter helplessness. . .

A number of people from the neighborhood joined together to gather up all the wagon contents strewn the length of Solomon's 100 yard death dash. . .It is so fortunate that no cars or trucks were coming at all. I give God all the credit for watching over Solomon and protecting him. Marion street is very busy at that time of day. I was totally embarrassed and shaken. . .I effusively thanked everyone again and again. . .I knew several of the people of the neighborhood who helped pick up my stuff. . .One lady maybe trying to console me, maybe not knowing what else to say, kept repeating, "God bless you sir. . . God bless you sir. . ."



Solomon was just a wreck when I got him back to the car. He had urinated all over himself and his anal glands had let loose, I think he broke a toenail, he was spotting a little blood from his paw. . .he was a mess. . .The wagon is all banged up, undoubtedly still usable, but the sides are dented in. The paint is scraped up. The wooden side risers are all smashed and broken. . .all in all, thankfully only relatively minor lasting testimonies to my foolishness. . . My God, thankfully the only visible memorials of my poor judgment. . .




I don't know. . .LOL, I'm somewhat skeptical at this point of ever getting Solomon near to that wagon or anything that even remotely looks like a wagon for that matter. . .in my research on getting Solomon a harness, etc. to pull the wagon, I see that goats are often used to pull carts. . . Jackie's always wanted to have a goat. . .LOL. . . JUST KIDDING!!!!

Anyway, today is Jackie and I's anniversary 15th (I think?!?!). . .

Thank you God for everything You've done for me.
Thank you for watching over me. . .
Thank you for my wife. . .

I love you my Lord. . .
I love you my God. . .

Dave Stokely

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