“You’re a lying, dog-faced pony soldier.”
I just had to laugh last week when I heard Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden say this to a potential voter at a New Hampshire campaign rally. What was he thinking?
Granted, this is supposedly a line from an old John Wayne movie, but that claim has yet to be substantiated. Even if that claim is true, Biden definitely did not come across sounding or looking like the Duke in video clips of this exchange.
The young woman asked Biden if he still felt confident in his campaign after his low numbers in the Iowa caucus. Biden proceeded to ask her if she had ever attended a caucus, and she answered that she had. Biden retorted, “No, you haven’t. You’re a lying, dog-faced pony soldier.”
Everyone laughed, somewhat uncomfortably, but the playful exchange quickly went viral on social media. And the more the scene was replayed, the more disturbing it became.
Again, what was he thinking? Was he trying to deflect her very legitimate question? Or was he just tired and stressed from campaigning and from the weight of the questions swirling around him and his son Hunter? Or did he just think it was cute and funny?
Who knows? But, sadly, it may go down in history as Biden’s worst quote ever.
As I thought about the whole spectacle, I had to admire the young woman Biden addressed. She took it quite well at the time. Since then, she has said she finds the whole exchange sad. She also believes Biden has no real solutions to help our country.
I agree. And I further concur that any politician who leaves God out of the equation will never find a solution for America’s ailments. I hear lots of talk, lots of crazy proposals that are guaranteed to master every problem. But America has prevailed and will continue to prevail only when we seek and faithfully follow the real Master. And it’s high time we recognize that truth!
At the table of faith
In fact, this whole “lying, dog-faced pony soldier” debacle reminded me of a young woman who did exactly that. This woman sought the Master and found Him, and in the process, she taught us an eternal lesson about faith.
Matthew 15 tells the story of a desperate mother from Canaan who longed to have her daughter delivered from the demonic forces that possessed her.
The mother sought Jesus for help. She cried out for His mercy. Now, on the surface of the story, it looks as if He totally ignored this mother. And she kept crying out so loudly that the disciples even begged Jesus to send her away. Instead, he replied that He was only sent “to the lost sheep of Israel.”
In other words, He knew His mission and was sticking to it. Amazingly, she didn’t seem offended or deterred. She just dropped to her knees before Him and begged for His help. Still, He quite frankly told her that He could not take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs, not even if that dog was a beloved household pet, as the original word denoted.
Wow! Jesus basically equated this desperate, determined mother with a dog. And to the Hebrew people, the Canaanites were dogs. So, all the Israelites present at that moment probably agreed that this woman was unclean, unlearned, and unholy. But, they were actually about to learn a life lesson on their prejudice and her humility…and her faith.
Now, I don’t know about you, but it might tend to tick me off if someone called me a dog, especially if that someone claimed to be the Son of God. I probably would have walked right out and vowed to never set foot in His presence again.
She did not waiver or move though, and this is where my favorite part of the story comes in.
This amazing, single-minded mother was not even fazed by the Master’s harsh comparison. “Yes, it is, Lord,” she quickly answered. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”
In other words, all she cared about was the fact that she was kneeling before the Maker of the universe, and He alone could make her child whole. She understood that the miracle she needed was so easy for Him to perform. And she knew Jesus could provide what she asked for with even the smallest of crumbs from His table.
Go ahead, call her a dog! Let everyone in the room call her a dog. She did not care, as long as the Master threw her some crumbs. She knew exactly who He was, and she needed His help. The words and labels, the prejudice she faced did not bother her – as long as her child was healed. Nothing else mattered to her at that moment in time but Jesus.
And likewise, her story became a demonstrative picture of His love for all people. It was a view of things to come!
Now, I am not a scholar, but the way I see it, Jesus moved heaven, earth, and hell to heal this woman’s daughter because of one thing – her faith. In fact, Jesus said, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And, from that hour, the Bible tells us that her daughter was healed.
I just love that story; don’t you? It embodies all the qualities I want to possess as a Christian woman: strength, courage, boldness, tenacity, determination, grace, patience, love, hope, and faith – great faith! Faith so great that the God of the universe stops and moves, just for me.
But wait. Here is the best part, the rest of the story, so to speak: We are now invited to dine at the Master’s table. Because of the cross, because of the Great Exchange, we are no longer estranged and separated from the Master. He bids us come and dine for we are now joint-heirs with His Son, Jesus.
So, call me a dog, or call me a lying, dog-faced pony soldier. I do not care, as long as I am dining with the Master. Even His crumbs are more than enough.