Monday, October 11, 2010

The Dog Chapel

Making our way up Highway 59 towards Arkansas two months into the walk, we came across something called a Cowboy Church. Even though I grew up in Texas, it was the first I'd ever heard of this. But it wouldn't be the last. I soon discovered they're all over the South and suspected they were part of a franchise, too. Worked for chicken & biscuits, why not churches?

Turned out it's not a chain at all... just people in different places and of differing denominations who live the cowboy lifestyle and worship together. Seemed like a cool concept to me and over many subsequent miles on the road I wondered about building a Dog Church myself.

I don't remember how or when but I later found out about an artist named Stephen Huneck in Vermont who built such a sanctuary. My gut said, 'Gotta go there' so I called Ginger to make it happen. Wasn't on my walking plan she said and went on to spell out a whole host of reasons why it was impossible which I do not recall. I tend to drown out disagreement. Dreamers do that.

While on the Rails-to-Trails to DC I met a Marine who said, "'Impossible' only describes a degree of difficulty". That's true, but it also necessitates the element of time.

Do what you believe long enough and you'll turn the hearts of even your most ardent critics. I felt Mr. Huneck, a fellow romantic, understood a lot of what our travels entailed and hoped our paths would one day cross.

They did yesterday when Hudson Murphy & I visited the Dog Chapel for the first time. It was the annual fall festival at Dog Mountain and wow - what a place!

And while the beauty is indescribable I traveled to the Dog Chapel to pray for mercy for Murphy and everyone touched by cancer and to thank God for blessing my life with this mission and making me a weapon in this war

And to thank you, Stephen, for giving all of us a place to come and worship together.