Dowdy Ferry Dogs

The Dogs of Dowdy Ferry Road

O the cruelty
O the pain.
The mangled bodies
Tortured and dumped
Like yesterday's garbage
They have no voice
To call their own
Mute creatures
Unable to speak
Yet they cry out
Through the trash bags
Though their life is gone
I hear their screams
O if but the world would listen
If only for a moment
Faint on the wind
The silent screams
Of the poor, poor dogs of Dowdy Ferry Road.

All seems hopeless
All seems lost
There is no light
Only the rows and rows
Of white crosses
Each one representing
A tortured dog.
Hundreds and hundreds
Mile after mile
Does anyone see?
Does anyone care?
My soul weeps
The tears fall.
But wait
Is that a tiny army
That I see?
Their brave faces
Their brave, sad faces
Their strong voices
Tremoring in righteous anger
As they walk the road
Shining light in the darkness
Doing all they can
To bring peace
To bring justice
To bring hope
To cruel, dark Dowdy Ferry Road

O how I love them
These brave souls
Whom I don't even know
Who stand for the weak
And speak for the mute
And refuse to allow
The community
The city
The elected ones who do nothing
And the world
To forget what happens here.
Lord watch over them
Give them strength
Shine light upon the darkness
And bring justice
To the poor lost dogs
And strength to the ones
Who are their voice
So that death and sadness
May not win
And reign on Dowdy Ferry Road.

   I wrote this for the dogs of Dowdy Road, in Dallas, where every night mangled, tortured dogs are dumped. And for the brave rescuers who walk that road and work so hard to push back the evil. 

   Dowdy Ferry Road has become a dumping ground for the unwanted dogs too, and starving dogs are commonly found there. My heart goes out to the group of brave souls, who walk that road regularly, they have put up cameras and they do all they can to gather evidence so that authorities can prosecute. Day after day they open bags, to find dead tortured dogs, and they photograph and document.

They don't get paid for this. They do it for love, they do it because it's the right thing to do. They give their time and money. They don't stop. Its gotta be hard, so very hard.

I love these people.

When Did it Begin

 I try and remember when it all began

this descent into sorrow

this walk into the valley

I never saw it coming

I mistook it all for good

She made him happy

Made him want to be a better man

And that made me happy

But it all went so wrong

The darkness of her mind

Near destroyed us all

And yet we loved her

Welcome 2017!!!!

 On the 1st day of 2016, I wrote out a prayer for the New Year and today, on the eve of 2017, I reflect upon what I wrote..

May we live with eyes wide open,

May God break our hearts with the things that break His,

May we live out mercy,

May we live out peace,

May we be inspired to know with certainty that we can in fact make a difference,

May we trust in Him and not in the things of this world,

May we speak gospel,

May we remember that we serve the One who took a handful of fish and fed thousands,

May we not grow weary in doing good,

May we cease struggling for happiness and instead embrace joy,

May apathy be erased from our hearts,

May indifference die,

May we constantly immerse ourselves in His word,

May we remember His promises,

May we follow His instructions,

May we be people who love in word and in deed."

The Truth Will Set You Free

  Abby Blue Normal has been with us for four and a half months now. She has known no cruelty, no hunger, no pain since arriving here, although she has known many moments of terror, trapped in her understanding of life and blind to the reality of her new existence.

 As I watch her I am reminded of how often we Christians are trapped and blind as we walk through this life. We are free in Christ, we are beloved, we are children of God because of the great act of love that Christ poured out on our behalf, and yet we do not always walk in this freedom. Instead we choose fear.

 Abby is a good representation of a believer in Christ who has failed to appropriate the reality and truth of their new position before God. We have brought her into our home, she is now a member of our family, she has been given a new name and she is protected from sorrow, from hunger, from pain and from fear. In truth she has nothing to be afraid of. She has won the dog lottery and is now part of a peaceful and loving home. She is protected. She is loved. She is ours. Yet despite all of these truths, she is remains stuck in her fears and she is unable to take hold of the truth of  all that is now hers in us.

 I see some of myself in Abby. I long to trust Jesus fully and completely. To stand upon the sure Rock and know beyond all doubt that no matter what is going on around me, no matter how hopeless, no matter how my mind screams out "be afraid!" I am safe in Christ. There is nothing to fear. Yet so often I too give in to fear. I lose faith. My own walk has been a growth process, moving each day a little farther from the fear and a little closer to the trust. I hope and pray that this will be true for Abby too. That slowly her faith in us will grow and one day she will not fear the storms of life but will trust completely in us and our love and care for her. I pray also that my faith in Jesus my Lord will grow stronger and stronger each day until I no longer take notice of the high waves and the fierce winds.

 I can see in her eyes that she longs to believe that everything around her is true and can be depended on, but the horrors she has seen, the life she has experienced up to now, scream out to her that everything she sees around her is a lie and that sorrow and pain is surely around the corner. Abby needs faith.

 Looking back over the past four months I can see that she has progressed in her faith. She no longer shuts down totally, laying in a trembling heap with her eyes squeezed shut awaiting the worst and certain that it will be most terrible. Occasionally she comes to us and allows us to touch her. From time to time she will give a kiss. She still has miles and miles to go, to be free of her fears, we are still a long ways off from normal dog behavior whereby she comes and greets you upon your return, and whereby she lies in peace on the floor chewing a bone while the household relaxes.

 She stays in her bed for the most part, only venturing out when called to go outside. She does not play much with toys and hardly ever if a human happens to be present. Sometimes at night she ventures out and lays in peace upon the carpet chewing a cow horn, but of how we long to see her be at peace enough to do this in our presence.

 Her eyes watch all human movements, tracking you as you move around the house. I cannot recall one single time that this has not been the case. If you are standing, or moving, Abby is watching you, wound tight like a bow and ready to explode into flight should you turn into the monster that her mind seems to tell her you will at some point turn into. 

I Can Only Imagine

   I just returned from watching the movie "I Can Only Imagine". The story of Bart Millard, lead singer for the band Mercy Me, and the song that was inspired by his abusive father.

   Today was a day of firsts. It was the first time I ever went to a movie theater alone, and it was the first time I sat in a movie theater alone and cried like a baby.

  I did not weep for Bart who endured years of abuse at the hands of a broken father, and I did not weep for his father, who was redeemed by the grace of Jesus and who in Bart's words, "went from a man that I most hated to the man I most wanted to be like." No, although a beautiful story of grace and redemption, I did not weep for that. The song "I Can Only Imagine" has brought tears to my eyes every single time I have really listened to it, really taken in the words, but I did not weep for  the song either. Instead I wept for the marvelous, glorious, outrageous grace of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

   I recall many a time sitting in church as my father preached, and every time he talked about grace he cried. As a child it used to upset me, seeing my dad weeping, it was many years before I too finally came to that place where I recognized how glorious and amazing the grace of God really is.

 The movie today brought all that home again, and I pondered how often I have taken that grace for granted, how often I even speak of it without tears, without being totally overcome at the magnitude of it. As I thought these thoughts I asked God to please, if He only grants this one thing, may it be that I always become choked up, that I always cry, when talking about the grace I have found in Christ.

 I wept also for those who don't weep. For those for whom Christ is either a myth, or a really good teacher, and for those who know Him personally and yet never seem to weep over the magnitude of the grace He has extended to them. For my family and friends that don't really know Him, for all who can speak of His grace in the same tone and emotion that one would speak of a football game or a family vacation. Sometimes that is me. May it never be so again!

 In truth I believe that were we who call Him Lord to really think hard about it, if we really take it all in, the wonder of it, how can we not be brought to tears? That the God of all glory, the Creator and Sustainer of all things, stooped down and called my, the worst of sinners, blasphemer, mocker of God, a woman who walked in darkness....and He saw me, He knew me, He loved me, He died in my place, took on all my darkness, all my sin and redeemed me. He calls me daughter, He calls me child, He calls me beloved, and if that don't bring tears to your eyes then I suspect you haven't really thought very deeply about it, or you don't believe it.

 I can only imagine what it will be like
When I walk, by your side
I can only imagine what my eyes will see
When you face is before me
I can only imagine
I can only imagine

Surrounded by You glory
What will my heart feel
Will I dance for you Jesus
Or in awe of You be still
Will I stand in your presence
Or to my knees will I fall
Will I sing hallelujah
Will I be able to speak at all
I can only imagine
I can only imagine

I can only imagine when that day comes
When I find myself standing in the Son
I can only imagine when all I would do is forever
Forever worship You
I can only imagine

   I can only imagine......yet I suspect I will weep.