New Englanders are famous for their jovial, loving, and warm dispositions, right? Wrong. There is a reason the most famous face in NH was made of stone. People from New England, like their winters, can often be cold and tough. A quiet and introverted guy like me LOVES that about New England, but it can be hard to be a pastor in this environment because it takes a while to chip away at the outer walls to get to the heart of the matter.
Usually when a guy with a pastor’s collar walks into a room he can feel those walls going up. In a region where only about 13% of people are in worship on a given Sunday a pastor can feel as wanted as a snow cone salesmen in northern Maine. We know that people mostly talk to us from the towers of their well-built walls (think Monty Python and the French Taunting). We also know that if people would talk from their hearts instead they might find some Comfort in meeting Jesus. The challenge is getting to the heart that lies inside the longstanding walls.
I got to spend a couple of days with some Comfort Dogs following the Marathon Bombings. The main thing I realized is that these dogs knock down walls. Maybe it’s better to say that they melt walls, and you can see it happen. I walked into hospital rooms, nursing homes, and places on the street with my pastor collar on and a dog at my side. As people spent time with the dogs the walls dissolved and I was able to see the real self that lies inside. The dogs were able to get to the heart of the matter in minutes. A prayer and a word of Scripture was like salve in these wounded hearts instead of merely bouncing off the outer walls.
We want to add a dog to our ministry in order to help people get to know the true self that lies deep inside the walls they’ve built over the years. Some people are really glad to have the dog’s help to melt those walls away so they can find comfort deep inside. If you want to help us make this dream come true, please click here.