One issue explored by Rev Claire in July, centred around the question, “How can we share our faith with others without being weird or scary?” Recently I had the chance to find out in an unexpected way.
It was a wintry Saturday morning, and bundled up in warm clothes, I walked to the pond in the urban farm near our home. I needed space to think about recent ‘happenings’, and being near water amidst trees helps me to do this.
Before I reached the pond I saw a woman asking if anyone had seen her dog. As I hadn’t, I went to the sitting area overlooking the pond. A woman was already there. Although it was a public place something about her demeanour made me ask if I could share the space with her. She replied that she was happy for me to sit near her until her friend, who was looking for her lost dog, returned. She said they were having an intimate conversation.
Gesturing to the pond, I said that I looked on the place as my sacred space. Looking up she asked me, “why?” I said I was a Christian and needed a place like this to pray to gain perspective on issues.
When her friend returned without the dog, they decided to go and look for it together. Then they asked me if would I look after the dog if it came back before they returned? I said yes. After a while as the dog hadn’t appeared, I felt the time had come to go home.
I hadn’t gone far when a woman with a large dog on a lead appeared. She said she had found the dog near the road and had rescued it, as she feared it would get run over.
A small group of people had gathered around her by this time and in answer to her question, ‘did anyone know to whom the dog belonged?’ I piped up and said I did, and that I would take it. She gratefully handed the lead, with the dog attached, to me. Although the dog was a big greyhound thankfully it was docile. I returned to the pond with the dog still on the lead hoping the owner would soon come back.
Eventually the owner returned with her friend, and as they and the dog were reunited they expressed their gratitude for my help.
I never expected my quiet time at the pond to turn out the way it did. Unexpectedly I’d not only had a chance to share my belief, but I was challenged to ‘walk the talk’ too.