Sunday, August 3, 2014


Just can’t not tell you about an amazing  resolution to a very distressing problem yesterday! 
The family who was just vacating a campsite we were moving into mistakenly locked the keys inside their van, so they couldn't leave.
Not really a big problem, right?
However, the plot thickened: they had no 2nd set of keys, we were 30 miles from any garage/tow truck help, no cell phone service in this remote area to even call anyone anyways, windows were closed tight on a hot summer day,  2 dogs inside. But the clincher: the couple’s baby was tightly strapped in his car-seat - also inside!
When my friend + I arrived on the scene, they had exhausted virtually every means they could think of: their vehicle was new, made secure against any illegal entry and  it had successfully withstood their every attack.
We joined forces with them, but it stood, a formidable fortress against our every strategy to breach its security. We hammered on the doors, tried forcing wires through cracks between windows and doors… but no cracks! 
The husband/father finally ran off to find a Park Ranger or anyone able to help, while we two stayed with the wife/mom. Through it all, the one dog sat calmly in the back seat beside the little boy, but two strangers suddenly poking around his castle for vulnerable invasion points really provoked the other doggie. ‘Poochie’s protection instincts kicked into full onslaught mode and he aggressively reacted to our every effort. Snarling, jumping almost maniacally up against the passenger door window, pressing his face and drooling mouth right against ours on the same window pane we were desperately trying to break through. Everything in him worked to repel us Aliens! The more we tried, the fiercer he grew. He was only terrier-sized, but the closer we pressed against the glass, the bigger his bark, growl and bared teeth appeared. He was determined: we were not invading his space!
And then the baby started crying! We wondered how long he and the dogs could last in such a tight, enclosed space with no fresh air on such a hot day?  Mom tried to reassure her baby, but all the shouting and barking only heightened the tension!
Then Mom had an idea: why not use this problem ‘Poochie’ to hopefully bring about the solution? He was jumping up and down against the window, just inches away from the lock switch, so our strategy became: get Poochie so worked up that his repeated jumping would land his angry paw just one time on that inside switch, click the lock and open the door!
We put our plan into action. Mom, who was South African, tried to coax him toward the switch, urging him on in Afrikaans while simultaneously trying to calm her baby.  My friend + I egged him on in English.
We didn’t know how much time we had; breaking a window appeared more and more a necessary possibility?
But Poochie’s every leap up came down short; only the intensity of  his anger grew closer as I could feel the heat of his breath increase through the window! We kept up our attack; our desperation heightened.
What would happen?
Somehow I felt this was going to end well: the Lord was fixing to do something + He did!
We split up our attack. My friend diverted Poochie’s attention to the driver’s side of the van and this proved to be a welcome distraction. He followed him over, barking all the while. But the change threw him off balance just enough so that he tripped on the steering wheel + stumbled + fell …
right onto the panel’s switch!
I heard a ‘Click!’, cried out an automatic  ‘Yes!’, pulled on the door handle before he could undo what he just did. And it opened!
Mom was ecstatic! She reached in, grabbed Poochie up in her arms so he wouldn’t chew my friend to pieces, all while reaching for her little boy and holding him close at the same time. She had been the one who’d inadvertently locked the keys inside in the first place. Relief and thanksgiving simultaneously so overwhelmed her, she started thanking Poochie + us in Afrikaans!
Only a brief few minutes, but an experience for a lifetime.
I don’t think Poochie realized all that he had  done for his family that day. His left paw didn’t know what his right paw was doing. But it was led by the Spirit and that was enough to open the once-locked door.
I left, thanking Father and searching further for the dad. He needed to know all this too had been worked together for good.