For the past couple months I’ve been very intentional about living present in the ordinary of life with the prayer that God will meet me there. Would like to say that I am a master at that but I am not. However, God is helping me see that the ordinary is filled with extraordinary realities. That seemed to happen a couple days while I was walking my son’s dog (how and why Joy and I have taken in his dog is another matter!).

So … I was walking Jordan at Mount Saint Francis Abby where there are hundreds of acres and miles of trails in fields and woods. This is a great place to appreciate God’s handiwork in nature. Jordan was on his leash as we approached another dog. Jordan is a rescue dog that, for whatever reason, hates any other dog that doesn’t look like him. After a brief skirmish where I had to pull Jordan off the brown lab that was simply looking for a polite meeting we continued our walk.

After a couple hundred yards we met up with a second dog. This time I took more precautionary measures and asked the approaching owner to keep her dog away from mine and added, “My dog is a racist and will attack most any other dog if given the chance.” She quickly informed me that her dog was not racist but a progressive who loved all dogs. “He has a pink leash to prove how progressive he is!”

After we passed each other without incident I heard her son (looked like he was about 5 or 6) ask his mom, “What is a ‘progressive’.” I didn’t hear her answer. But it made me reflect on the power of words AND the assumptions that come with the words that we use.

The point is not to question whether all ‘progressives’ lack any racist traits. The question for me became, “Do I make assumptions about the character of my own soul based simply on words, even good and ‘Christian’ words, that I use? Because I know and use the word ‘humility’ do I assume that I walk in humility toward God and others? Because I know the word ‘sin’ do I really avoid it? Because I know the word ‘courage’ do I display it?

God can use almost anything for the purpose of soul reflection. Even walking the ordinary (racist) dog.