I was walking down the lane having been at a house for a post-funeral gathering.
The people were lovely: gentle and kind family and friends of a man who had lived a long and very fulfilled life.The funeral had been an occasion of thanksgiving for a good man.
It was a fine and sunny December day and I felt happy as I walked towards home.
Suddenly, as I passed a house a dog began barking at me viciously from a garden.It was clear that it was safely contained behind a high wall and gates; but for a moment there was panic in my heart.
It was not that I was afraid of the dog, more that it was a throwback to childhood days.Entirely lacking in self-confidence, even walking down a public road I would have panicked if someone’s dog had barked at me.I would have been afraid of disturbing the owners of the dog, afraid of having caused them inconvenience.
(If anyone has seen the film “National Lampoon European Vacation”, I am like the English guy who is knocked off his bicycle in country after country by the same American family and each time apologises to them for being in their way.)
I was reflecting on my reaction, deep within my psyche I must still have the lack of confidence, the low self-esteem.The words from Sir John Stainer’s “Crucifixion” came to mind “For God so loved the world . . .”
I can walk down the lane unafraid of barking dogs, not because of any intrinsic worth, but because I matter enough to God that he sends his Son.