My Dad sent me this letter by email he other day after he was inspired by a sermon by T.D. Jakes, their longtime pastor. I’m happy and proud to present this personal history essay (with little editing from me) by my wonderful father, James W. Jackson:
THE DOG KNEW
As Bishop Jakes was preaching this morning he brought to mind an occasion I had in Portland, Oregon many years ago. Zik, it was when you were a little boy outside playing. I heard you scream and everything in me came alive. I ran to the door and opened it and as I remember all I saw was you lying on your back under a very large Doberman Pinscher. I have always had a “healthy respect” for large dogs (actually a fear). But somehow on this one occasion all I could think was, “I’m gonna eat this dog!” And I do not know the sound that came from my mouth, but what I do know was the dog heard it! Because as I came flying down the steps and the little hill, the dog looked back and took off like a flash…in stark terror! Whatever he heard, thought, or saw communicated EXTREME DANGER! I knew in my heart the dog was in “deep trouble” and I had intended great harm upon him. All that was in me had one desire, remove the threat from my son…NOW! In the blink of an eye I was there and the dog was gone. In retrospect as I reflect on that moment I am awed. I know that Almighty God in heaven had imbued me with an extraordinary sense of right and no fear. I was going to eat the dog at that moment. And now in my sane moments of gratitude I am smiling and sometimes laughing, because the dog knew.