Why a Comfort Dog?

I’m sure there are some people that wonder about a Church using a DOG in ministry. I’m sure because I was one of those people once. I had seen the LCC dog booth at a few conventions through the years and always passed by with a smile and a nod and a thought in the back of my head, “OK. You use the dogs; we’ll do REAL ministry.”

Then April 15th 2013 happened in Boston. I was with my family a block and a half away from the finish line meeting up with my wife’s sister who was stretching and rehydrating after the marathon. The sound of the first bomb caught my attention, the second bomb got us moving, and the sight of a woman running toward us with tears streaming down her face forced us into a steady jog to the car to get out of the city. Not knowing any specifics we got into the car and turned on the radio to hear some news. The first words I caught were about limbs flying through the air. Immediately I needed Comfort.

The next few days brought me into Boston to serve as a helping pastor to our sister congregation First Lutheran. Pastor Dutzmann was in over his head with ministry needs and called me to make a run to the airport to pick up some friends coming to town to help. On Tuesday I arrived at Logan to pick up Rich and Dona Martin and their two friends Luther and Ruthie Comfort Dogs. For the next few days I saw these dogs walk the streets of Boston bringing Comfort and compassion to the crowds. I learned personally that they do REAL ministry that opens the door for the Gospel to be shared in biblically appropriate ways. People met Jesus because these dogs came around.

I got to meet Jesus in a new way because of my time with the Comfort Dogs. He is the God who looks for the broken and hurting and goes to them. He is the God who heads toward suffering not away from it. He is the God who looks with compassion and seeks to bring Comfort. These dogs and their handlers head to the most devastated places in our country in order to bring Comfort. What better thing can I say about them than they remind me of Jesus!

Over the next few days I’ll share some more of the things I learned since the Boston Marathon Bombings, and help you answer the question, “Why a Comfort Dog?” If you want to find out more about Messiah’s ministry and support the cause, please click HERE!

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