July 26-August 1, 2020 – Joseph Castillo
I remember when I was about 10 years old. I lived in the country and my cousin was visiting while he was on vacation. Behind my house was a field of grapevines. They had just finished soaking the fields the week before. There were some spots that were dry but other parts had a dry layer on top and were muddy underneath. We went out exploring in that field and as we were exploring we heard a pack of dogs coming our way. They were running straight towards us. I said a prayer and told my cousin, “Run!”
We started to run but my cousin stepped on one of those dry spots that had the endless mud underneath it. His shoe started to sink, then his ankle, then his leg – all headed into the bottomless pit. As I started to see his leg disappear, I could hear the sound of the suction gobble him up, and he started to go down further and further. I reached for his arm and started a tug of war with the pits of the earth. The underworld was trying to take him and I could hear the hounds coming for us. I grabbed him by his arm and yanked him out. As I pulled him out, the mud reached up and grabbed his shoe and it disappeared into the abyss. My cousin paused for a second because he wanted to grab his shoe, but I pulled his arm and said run. We made it home limping but we were safe. Later that day, we went back to get his shoe but it was never seen again.
There is a verse in the Bible that says there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24) and another verse, Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, says three cords are better than one. There was no way I was going to leave my cousin that day. We were either both going to escape or we would both face the dogs. I have two main ministries in my life besides my family. Those ministries are Pathfinders and The Ark, and God has given me some great people to work with. Some have become close and great friends that I know I can trust with anything. During this time of COVID-19 we need to make sure we stick together. We need to be strong for each other. It seems as though the world has stopped for COVID but our lives continue to go on along with unwanted events in them. United we need to stay, so let’s lift each other up in prayer and be there for each other, united in the Spirit. No one gets left behind.