On Thursday morning I went for a 5k run bringing me to the edge of the town. Shortly after I started out I was joined by an unlikely companion. Stray dogs usually scarcely lift their heads that time of the morning, but this one followed me. I can usually read these dogs well enough now to know when they mean business. This one seemed calm enough if a bit ragged and scarred. So I let it be and it kept up with me while mostly ignoring me.
It was Diwali on Wednesday which is the biggest Indian festival and celebrated with fireworks and crackers (among other things). The evidence of the previous night’s revelry could be seen everywhere on the roads. Dogs everywhere are territorial and will defend their “own” area against outsiders. So it is possible that the “war” the previous night drove this dog to get away from it all, but he needed some company to take on the unknown. As we went, this dog did run into a few groups of dogs who growled and tried to chase the outsider, but he did not give them a single look and went straight ahead. I have seen some dog fights and the results on our own dog – not pretty. So I had to admire this brave fellow who avoided a fight and kept going.
And so he kept me company all around the sector until he came back to his own area. It is funny how much I enjoyed the run with my silent companion. Just to have another breath close by gave some comfort, some joy, a bit of peace. It is like the lion, Aslan, in The horse and his boy, who spent the night with the boy, Shasta, in the non-threatening form of a cat while he had to wait near the scary tombs. And it is not unlike the way God is present wherever we go. He is the Friend I am always running with.
Psalm 139 has this:
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.