Yesterday, walking down our block with the Visiting Dog, I felt a lift of spirits, and when I searched for a word to describe it, I said to myself, “I feel delivered!”
(For public purposes, I was speaking to the dog, you understand.)
It’s a spiritual concept, the idea that God delivers us from strife and difficulty.
We associate it with the Israelites being delivered from Egypt.
We sing it: “Strong deliverer, strong deliverer, be thou still my strength and shield.”
We find it in the Psalms: “O Lord, my Lord, my strong deliverer, you have covered my head in the day of battle.” (Psalm 140:7)
We pray it: “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”
I think I’ve prayed that gingerly, or unconsciously. Evil. Evil? What does that even mean in my day-to-day life as a mom and a pastor, I might have asked?
I might have.
But in that moment, just about the time we got to the last house on the block, the thought had formed fully, and the prayer of thanksgiving was not far behind.
The idea, of course, is that a person rescues a dog, delivering a dog from evil or difficulty or abandonment or neglect.
A little later in the day I drove off the street, and pulled into a line of cars waiting for a red light at the nearby intersection, and I had enough time to see this magnet on the car in front of me.
So naturally, Visiting Dog is a permanent delivery as well as a fluffy deliverer.
We’re calling him Hoagie.