Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Rebellious Heart of a Horse


We have horses, Horse One and Horse Two. Yes, that's what Bill named them and although I have tried many times to name them 'normal' horse names none ever fit. So, Horse One and Horse Two are those we love. I had gotten a call from Bill the other day letting me know that Horse One, our Arabian, had gotten out. When a horse gets out of his pen it's one thing, but when a horse gets out of his property, that's an entirely different problem. There are cars and roads and people that a horse can run up on that may or may not know how to deal with a wandering, high-spirited horse, like our Arabian. Before I headed out to Dulcinea, which is our property where we keep our horses and lakes, I asked Bill what might have caused Horse One to get out. New horses. Our neighbor had gotten a couple of new horses and our fields back up to one another. Evidently, across the fence line our horse decided that his friend, Horse Two wasn't enough and the new horses peaked his interests so that he would find any way possible to get across that fence. Animals are like that, hormones, instincts, curiosity all cause us, yes us, since we are animals too, to look across the fence sometimes. There is nothing wrong with looking. The problem comes when the temptation to cross that fence, which isn't really in our best interest, gets so strong that we throw caution to the wind and jump, or go around, or climb under. All kinds of problems can come from giving in to that.
Luckily, for us, our horse is unable to reproduce, even though he doesn't know that and we have neighbors that helped us out. The outcome could have been a lot different. When I arrived on the scene there was little I could do, because for those of you who know what has gone on in my life lately, me against an angry Arabian horse would not be a pretty picture. But I was able to watch and what I saw took my breath away. Walking down past the fence line to the gate, across the broken down trees and slushing slowly through the muddy trail I walked into the clearing of the neighbors field to see the sun just peering through the clouds. As the rays lit up the field the light danced off the galloping horses coming towards me and their colors, some a gorgeous burnt sienna, but others a watercolored, dappled grey and a soft, velvety brown were gorgeous. I had always known that horses were beautiful, but I had never experienced the beauty of horses first hand like this. It touched that artistic part of me that God placed in my life in a way that is hard to describe.
Over the next few days I really thought a lot about what had happened and what I had seen. I prayed about the experience because I knew that God was showing me something in this and I didn't want to miss this. Horses are beautiful, artistically beautiful, but horses aren't the point. Beauty is. God said to me that science may try and explain facts and theories about how this planet came into existence but when you consider the force of beauty itself it is a force to be reckoned with. It can't be ignored and most importantly it can't be explained scientifically. When you look into the face of a child or gaze into the sunset and see the brilliant colors blending day into night the beauty of those things can't be explained. We, as humans, need beauty in our lives so that we can believe there is more to this life than the ordinary day to day things we see. Adam and Eve had to deal with this. Eden was created as a beautiful sanctuary on Earth. I believe it is what God actually intended for us. But, thanks to giving into temptation, to looking over the fence and actually crossing it, they were committed to a life of ordinary, with occasional beauty mixed in. God didn't deny them beauty altogether, he gave them tastes of it, longings for it, so they would have an instinctual need for it to pass on to mankind. Thank God he loved us enough to do that. Can you imagine this world without the concept of anything beautiful? The arts may exist but they would never be classified as beautiful. Gasp!
I have had several people ask me lately to explain what I mean when I say God speaks to me so I feel that I should do that, and God said go ahead. I can only explain it as it happens in my life and you may believe it, understand it, or not. That doesn't matter really. What matters is my willingness and effort to keep the connection open. I prayed a few months ago and asked God to connect with me in a way that I would understand and asked if he would have a sense of humor. He did both. What I started to experience was that in times that I was quiet I began talking to God and he talked back, softly, where I could hear him, but he answered. He didn't just talk though. He showed me that he could send me answers through the radio, through others, on the back of a car with a licencse plate that said "God did it" and then I began to understand. When I opened up the box as to how I thought God would speak to me he decided to show up, constantly, in lots of interesting, fun and unexpected ways. This past week it was in a cow pasture with horses. I look forward to next week. Don't put God in a box. Pray, ask him to help you with this and let him out to talk with you as you walk through this life. That's really what he desires from us, a walk together, possibly, with horses.
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