Bob: Don’t be afraid of my dog. You know the old proverb, “A barking dog never bites”.

Richard: “I know the proverb, you know the proverb, but does your dog know the proverb?”

Source | Lachman Mehta, Stolen Treasures
(Xlibris Corporation, 2012) page 248

Here’s a slightly different version

Ned goes over to see his neighbour who has a very ferocious-looking dog. As Ned approaches the door the dog begins to bark wildly and his neighbour says to him, “Come on in, Ned! Don’t be afraid of my dog. You know the old proverb: A barking dog never bites.” “Yes,” replied Ned, “I know the proverb, and you know the proverb, but does your dog know it?” Before we have an agreement on when a dog can bite and when it cannot, we must first make sure the dog is party to the agreement.


In the same vein, any attempt by humans to legislate on where and through whom God and God’s Holy Spirit can act or cannot act is nothing but a futile attempt to shrink God. For God cannot be limited. The Holy Spirit of God breathes where she wills and is not the monopoly of any faith tradition.



One evening, the whole family went out to dinner at a local restaurant.  Everyone got a menu, even the youngest, Aimee, who was 6 years old.  Since the conversation was an ‘adult’ one, Aimee sat there ignored.  When the waitress took their orders, she came to Aimee last.

“And, what would you like to eat, young lady?” she asked.  Aimee answered, “I will have a hamburger, French fries and a large coke”.

“No”, said her mother.  “She will have a small salad with low fat dressing, baked chicken, carrots and boiled rice”.  “And milk to drink”, chimed in her father.

The waitress looked at Aimee and asked, “Would you like catsup or mustard on your hamburger”?  She said, “Catsup with some fried onions on top please.  Oh, and put a very small piece of lettuce on top to please my parents.  Thank you very much”.

As the waitress walked away to place the order, Aimee turned toward her family and said, “You know what?  She thinks I’m real”.

Source | Unknown. Here it is retold as remembered

Here’s a slightly different version

A family settled down for dinner at a restaurant. The waitress first took the order of the adults, then turned to the seven year old. “What will you have?” she asked.

The boy looked around the table timidly and said, “I would like to have a hot dog.”

Before the waitress could write down the order, the mother interrupted. “No hot dogs,” she said, “Get him a steak with mashed potatoes and carrots.”

The waitress ignored her. “Do you want ketchup or mustard on your hot dog?” she asked the boy.


“Coming up in a minute,” said the waitress as she started for the kitchen.

There was a stunned silence when she left. Finally the boy looked at everyone present and said, “Know what? She thinks I’m real!”

Source | Anthony de Mello, The Heart of the Enlightened
(Image Books, 1997) page 45



Have you ever felt like you were being ignored? Do you ever feel like you don’t matter, you don’t count? As if no one cared about anything you had to say?

When others don’t pay attention to our presence we feel as though we are objects to be maintained or avoided or fixed, rather than real human beings to be treated with respect and dignity. On the other hand, when someone listens to us, we feel loved and we feel real.


A public sinner was excommunicated and forbidden entry to the church.  He took his woes to God. “They won’t let me in, Lord, because I am a sinner.”

“What are you complaining about?” said God. “They won’t let Me in either.”

Source | Anthony de MelloPrayer of the Frog: Volume 1
(Gujarat Sahitya Prakash, 2003) page  105

Anthony de Mello, Taking Flight
(Image: 3rd Revised edition,1990) page 80


We can, as Christians, get narrow and closed-minded, petty, bitter and exclusive. We can become more holy than God where perfection becomes the enemy of the good.

But we can also go long and deep, broad, expansive and inclusive!



A man feared that his wife wasn’t hearing as well as she used to and he thought she might need a hearing aid. Not quite sure how to approach her, he called the family doctor to discuss the problem. The doctor told him there is a simple informal test the husband could perform to give the doctor a better idea about her hearing loss.

“Here’s what you do,” said the doctor, “stand about 40 feet away from her, and in a normal conversational speaking tone see if she hears you. If not, go to 30 feet, then 20 feet, and so on until you get a response.”

That evening, the wife is in the kitchen cooking dinner, and he was in the den. He said to himself, “I’m about 40 feet away, let’s see what happens.” Then in a normal tone he asked, “Honey, what’s for dinner?” No response.

So the husband moved closer to the kitchen, about 30 feet from his wife and repeats, “Honey, what’s for dinner?” Still no response.

Next he moves into the dining room where he was about 20 feet from his wife and asked, “Honey, what’s for dinner?” Again he gets no response.

So, he walked up to the kitchen door, about 10 feet away. “Honey, what’s for dinner?” Again there is no response.

So he walked right up behind her. “Honey, what’s for dinner?” 

“Ralph, for the fifth time I’ve said, chicken!”

 Source: As told in Cathy L. Wray, The Perfect Blend Devotional
(WestBow Press, 2014) pages 147-148


The problem may not be with the other one as we always think. It could be very much within us. We sometimes tend to look to heal in others problems or issues that are actually ours.


A school bus that carried both black and white students had been plagued with fighting. Determined to improve the situation, the bus driver devised a plan. One day, when they were on the road, he stopped the bus and said to one of the boys, “What colour are you?” The boy replied, “White.” Said the driver, “No, you are green. Anyone who rides in my bus is green. Now what color are you?” “Green,” answered the boy.

After having all the white students identify themselves as green, the driver asked one of  the black kids “What colour are you?” and she said, “Black.” “No,” said the driver, “you are green. Anyone who rides in my bus is green.” So, all the black kids on the bus said that they were green.

A few miles down the road, the driver heard a small voice from the back of the bus, “All right everybody; light green on this side; dark green on the other.”


Here’s a slightly different version

A couch of a southern team with a lot of racial problems said, “Look, there;’s no more black guys and no more white guys on this team. From now on everybody is one colour – green.”

They got out on the playing flied and he gave orders, “All right, all the light green guys on this side, and all the dark green ones on that side.”

Source : Unknown.
Both versions are retold as remembered .


“A great many people think that they are thinking when in reality, they are only rearranging their prejudices.”  | William James, the nineteenth century American philosopher and psychologist, once remarked,


A young father was spending the day at the zoo with his six-year-old son.  When they came to the tigers’ cage, the father explained how ferocious and strong tigers are.  The little boy’s eyes grew bigger and bigger till finally he asked nervously, “Daddy, if the tiger got out of his cage and ate you up…”

“Yes, son?” said the father, ready to soothe and reassure him.

But the boy continued, “If the tiger got out and ate you up, which bus should I take home?”

Source | Eva Blank and Alison Benjamin,
Jokelopedia,(Workman Publishing Company, 2013)


Things are not always as they seem.


A famous Sufi mystic, Rabiya, was searching for something on the street outside her small hut. The sun was setting and darkness was descending, as few people gathered around her. “What have you lost? What are you searching for?  Perhaps we can help,” they said to Rabiya.

Rabiya said, “I have lost my needle.”

One amongst the people said, “Well, the sun is setting now and it will be very difficult to find the needle.  Where has it fallen?  That’ll help us narrow down the area on this big road.  If we know the exact place, it will be easier to find it.”

Rabiya told them, “It is better not to ask me that question — because, actually, it has not fallen on the road at all.  It has fallen inside my house.”

Everyone started giggling as if she was joking.  Then a skeptic says out loud, “We always knew that you were a little insane!  If the needle has fallen inside the house, then why are you searching for it on the road?”

“For a very simple reason: inside the house there is no light and on the outside a little light is still there,” Rabiya replied.

The people laughed and started dispersing.  Rabiya called them back and said, “Listen! That’s exactly what you are doing: I was just following your example. You go on seeking bliss in the outside world without asking the most fundamental question: where exactly have I lost it?”

After a pause, she continues, “You have lost it inside, and yet you are looking for it on the outside for the very same reason — your senses are outward bound, your ears hear sounds on the outside, your hands touch things on the outside.  That’s the reason why you are searching outside. For a very long time, I was also just searching on the outside.  But the day I searched inwards, I was surprised.  That is where I lost it and that is the only place it can be found.”

Source | Osho, Joy: The Happiness that Comes from Within
(St. Martin’s Griffin, 2008) pages 10-11
Distracted by fleeting, external excitements we forget to tap into the fresh, secret waters deep within, where the Source of life and love and joy is waiting to be found.
Whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. | Matthew 6:6 (nrsv)
Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace. | Matthew 6:6 (the message)