Darkness had settled hours before on the college buildings as Campus Police Officer Trevor reported for the graveyard shift. But as he began with a slow drive around the roads criss-crossing the campus, he heard a clatter as loud as a backhoe scraping the street!
Trevor looked for the source of the groaning metal. Instead of it being a motorized vehicle, he spotted a curly brown horse moving smack down the middle of the road—dragging along a 20-bike rack with a few bicycles wobbling within it.
This is sure a new one to me. There are few horses here. Wonder where it came from? And who would chain a horse to a bike rack?
If it hadn’t been midnight, the animal would be creating a traffic jam. As Trevor’s headlights outlined the shape, he realized, “Wow! That’s not a horse! It’s a dog! A huge dog!”
Officer Trevor pulled over and approached the dog chained to the bike rack. The animal blinked friendly brown eyes as the canine sat on the pavement and wagged his tail. “Good boy!” Trevor gently reached for the identification around the dog’s neck. Bruno licked his hand. The dog’s head was the size of a steer’s. Officer Trevor grew up with dogs who had accompanied him on every adventure. But he was currently dogless.
“Bruno! I bet you’re hungry,” Trevor remarked. “Let find something to eat at the station.” He brought out bolt cutters, freed the dog from the chain attached to the rack. The officer then moved the rack to the sidewalk and invited Bruno to ride in the campus police truck to headquarters. Bruno took up enough of bench seat for four college kids. The dog’s furry mouth turned up in a toothy smile and droll dropped on Officer Trevor’s uniformed shoulder.
Trevor told the dog at headquarters. “We don’t have dog food, but we have something else you might like.” Mac and cheese with cut-up hot dogs. Bruno gulped down the officer’s lunch in three bites. He sniffed around for more. Dog-lover Trevor would gladly sacrifice his lunch and eat out of the snack machine. Officer Trevor guessed the dog’s owner had chained Bruno up since early morning. Bruno had missed lunch, dinner, and now it was nearly time for breakfast.
Trevor called the dog’s owner first thing in the morning. But the student/dog owner changed nothing over time regardless of warnings, fines, and impounding Bruno. He often left Bruno alone and hungry. So best case scenario for Bruno was being impounded by the police. Over time, Bruno towing the burden of a heavy bike rack around campus on Officer Trevor’s and other officers’ shifts became a common sight. Officer Trevor would bring out the bolt cutters, take the huge dog back to the station for a meal, and then drive Bruno around on his shift. With Bruno’s bike rack burden and hunger gone, the dog was often a part of the law enforcement team. The four-legged ride-along roving officer was able to pin down an offender and slobber in all the right places. Very effective.
But to be legal and have a future, even in such a rural area, Bruno needed a place to live besides next to the bike rack. Later, Bruno went home to a new, caring owner: Officer Trevor, of course. The large, loving dog never towed a bike rack around after that.
Burdens in our lives can come in the shape of bike racks, hunger, regrets, sin or guilt. The burden may be physical or emotional. But it can be as heavy on us as Bruno’s burden. It doesn’t have to be that way. But a friend is standing by to take the load from you—with forgiveness, love, second chances. Jesus.
Jesus leaves us with these words of promise and assurance about any burden: Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” [Matthew: 11:29-30]
And even Bruno would agree that life is better without being burdened with a bike rack—or anything else.
[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of scores of articles, a half dozen anthology contributions, and award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women. available where print books are sold and in e-book. Look for Give Us This Day Our Daily Grin – A Fun-Lovers Guide to Spiritual Living and Growing releasing June, 2017. Jo lives in northeast Arizona and writes a popular humorous weekly blog on her website, http://www.button-to-god.com.]