Praying among the Horses
I bought Philip Yancey’s new book, Prayer. So far, the most resonant passage has been his reflection on Psalm 46:10. You know… “Be still and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
So many thoughts spring to mind: the stillness that Ben introduced to my life; the disintegration and fear apparent among the Israelites caught between Pharaoh and the Red Sea; the layered whispers of hope and rescue resting in this verse. Yancey makes it plain: since the original sin lay in man’s choice to be his own god, salvation must lay upon the route that gives up that delusion in favor of the truth that He is God and I am so clearly not.
All these thoughts threatened to overwhelm me, and I could have read on, pushing them down in my craving for more. Instead, I went outside.
2 am on a farm in north central Kentucky on an overcast night is DARK, at least when you first step outside. I walked down the road slowly, seeking peace and quiet. I kept scolding myself for chasing mental rabbits until I remembered that the scolding itself was only scaring up MORE rabbits to chase. So I just breathed my way through them as my eyes adjusted to the light being reflected down off the clouds. Not quite moonlight, but enough to bring me safely to the gate to the horse paddock.
My father-in-law’s horses are relatively shy creatures during the day, so I knew that they would be even more reticent to approach me at night. I leaned against the gate and relaxed. Inhaling the rich aroma of earth, moist approaching rain, dusty horses, and Boer goat does. Exhaling fear, resentment, frustration, presence.
As Star, a red Thoroughbred mare, became visible in the shadows, I thought of God’s words to Job, revelling in His own creativity. I could do nothing to draw her nearer. I could only rest and breathe and remain attentive, allowing her to grace me with her nearness. Curiosity overcame shyness, and she came close, snuffling my hands, nuzzling my sweatshirt, all with dignity and placidness. For nearly an hour I rested in her presence, praising God and remaining quivering and awestruck at the wonder, the power, the perfection of this one facet of His creation. I couldn’t begin to create something as awesome as a horse. How can I come to know such a brilliant and wonderful Creator?
Grace. Sheer grace.
Still, when I went back inside I had to wash my hands. Horses still get dusty and dirty in a broken world.
Father, help me carry the peace you’ve shown me to bless the broken world around me. Holly Hill, my new Christian family. Chili’s, my realm of service and worship. To all those who rely on me, and all those on whom I rely, may I share your peace. Amen.
in HIS love,