The deserted parking lot was perfect for practicing riding a motorcycle. I had been invited to be a safety observer for a friend had not ridden for years. I was not really sure what I could do except offer a bit of advice here and there. As I stood watching the bike in the darkness, an odd looking van caught my eye. I wandered in the general direction to satisfy my curiosity.
I discovered a man and seven dogs. He was feeding them and letting them run free. The dogs were an unusual mix of three white poodles, an older collie, and three mix dogs. As soon as I stopped to let them discover me on their terms, one came up to me eager to sniff while looking for attention. In my imagination this was the last thing I expected to find in a deserted corner of a Singapore parking lot.
As we talked about life and the dogs, I discovered that everyone had at one point in their life been abandoned. He had not gone out of his way to find them. It seems as though the dogs had found him. I could sense the reason why. Here was a man who loved life and all the beings that came with it. I could not imagine him ever intentionally hurting anything. Even as I stood nearby, he gentle spirit filled with a sense of hope and possibilities.
The dogs were in great shape. Their coats were clean and well combed. Despite the frailties that come with age, one was blind and two others were hobbling a bit, each moved with a quiet serenity that comes from knowing they were safe. They were well fed. Some carried signed of being abandoned yet their demeanor now was gentle and calm.
As I played with them, I found myself listening to their spirits. If they could talk, I could imagine their conversation; “You’ll welcome us with open arms when we run for cover to you. Let the party last all night! Stand guard over our celebration.” (Psalm 5.11)