Spotted this black dog on the famous Charles Bridge in muggy Prague. No collar, no owner, just a slow intent to follow the crowd and wind up.. somewhere. He was friendly enough but in NZ he would be impounded, micro-chipped, inoculated and offered to a good home before being euthanised, if no kind-hearted takers. I don’t know if he has a name, but he does remind me of Winston Churchill who suffered from depression, which he referred to as his ‘black dog’. Churchill was a temperamental impulsive man who was disliked by his peers, but he had the balls to stand up to Hitler. A bit like Trump who is universally disliked but who stood up to Kim Yong Un, called his bluff, threatened him with annihilation (to the scorn of the Left), and brokered a peace deal. Go figure.
Depression has been my companion since the age of twelve. Over a four year period I had three godly counselors who identified this as the age I suffered the trauma of abuse: bullied at high school, not once or twice but relentlessly over a three year period, by staff and pupils in a foreign school. Pushed to the ground, kicked, spat upon, mocked mercilessly and called the scum of the earth. Why? Because I had a kiwi accent in a foreign land and I didn’t know how to stand up for myself. I was an immigrant, an alien, forever the outsider, socially ostracised & dysfunctional, wounded, hurt and that trauma turned to bitterness, resentment, anger, and yes, a major depression problem. It has taken a lifetime to come to terms with it, but it is so ingrained it turns up in my life like a black dog, like a demon on my shoulder whispering negative thoughts, like a curse.
Prague is a mega tourist destination, not far behind Venice, Paris & Greece in it’s drawing power. They come in their hordes, and swarm like orcs over the landscape devouring all they see. But I shouldn’t be skeptical as I could be mistaken for a tourist. I walk around a lot, I take a lot of pics, I drink coffee and even stretch to roast duck, red cabbage & dumplings for a meal. Wow. But my motivation to leave my family for this length of time (four months on the road) is different: I’m here because I have a message of hope for those who are broken. Like Eva after the Sunday service in the Roman Catholic church in Želiv. I prayed with her (with a translator), her face was drawn, she had tears in her eyes, I could see her struggle, and so I was able to speak and pray words that gave practical insight, inspiration and hope. It’s not a tourist destination, it’s a calling.
He traveled through that area, speaking many words of encouragement to the people, and finally arrived in Greece. Acts 20.2