Bark Like Mad and Run Away

English: Chocolate and White Cocker Spaniel
English: Chocolate and White Cocker Spaniel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last week at one of the house churches, our host family was dog sitting a family member’s 7 month old cocker spaniel puppy named Gracie. Cute as could be, she just had no idea how to handle all those new people. So, she would run up to each one as they arrived, bark like mad and run away. This made for some interesting moments during worship as late comers arrived. At one point, someone said to her, “Poor Gracie, every time something changes you protest and run away to hide. Sounds like me when God is calling me to something new.” And isn’t that the truth for each of us at one time or another? Perhaps there are just too many changes around us. Perhaps we simply cannot connect yet with God’s call in our lives. Perhaps the discomfort in our lives is just too much. Whatever the reason, we do the human equivalent of Gracie’s method of dealing with life. We found it cute and somewhat endearing when Gracie did it. But, neither people nor God find it endearing when we behave that way to them. When we ‘bark like mad and run away’ from people, hurt feelings and harmed relationships result. When we ‘bark like mad and run away’ from God, we miss all the love and grace he is offering us and we show him how little we trust him. By the end of the evening, Gracie discovered that if she quietly stayed around, that she received loving pats and kisses. Just think what we might receive from others and from God if we were to do the same.

About Rev Uch

I'm a United Methodist pastor serving Hyde Park United Methodist in Tampa, Florida. My husband and I have been here since July 2016. We are thrilled to be back in this area closer to most of our immediate family. In Tampa on a Sunday? Stop by one of our six weekly services. Find out more at
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5 Responses to Bark Like Mad and Run Away

  1. Amber says:

    Starting to think there needs to be a dog in the logo for The Well… 😉

    As for people barking like mad and running away
    I understand it… They need lots of reassurance through continual reinforcement of unconditional love and acceptance that they are not going to be hurt. In time with lots of gentle coaxing they will come around eventually to not only accept being loved but also love others extravagantly


  2. Tony Puccio says:

    Good analogy, Are the United Methodists starting house churches?


    • Pastor Kim says:

      As far as I know, there are four of us so far, spread across the country in Florida, Arkansas, Southern California and Minnesota. We’re in various stages of development with slightly different models but we’re all looking to give more places of possible connection to the person who’s trying to figure out what being a Christ follower is all about.


      • Tony Puccio says:

        I would suggest a good book by Wolfgang Simson called “Houses That Changed The World”. It is an excellent resource book. This book is definitely about new wineskins which it sounds precisely like what you and your coleagues are setting out to do.


      • Pastor Kim says:

        Thanks for the recommendation, Tony. I saw Wolfgang Simson at the House2House conference last year but somehow reading that book had slipped by me.


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