From the Ranch

From the Ranch

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

I Heard Such A Scary Confession

Our grand-son Tristen is one of my favorite people in all the world.  He is so many things that I admire, like fearless, possessed of a heart of gold, loyal, protective of those he loves, adventurous, artistic, and creative.  He is full of love for God, his family, and all things right and good.  Tristen loves me with his whole heart too, and would do anything for me.  I think of him as one of my best friends, and someone I can count on.  His mind and thinking fascinates me, and I can talk with him about things.  I know when I do he will be honest, wise, and really listen to what I have to say.  Tristen will value what I have to say as well... nine times out of ten.

On occasions there can be a little problem... For instance, he can fail to tell me certain things when they happen.  He will save important information for another time.  Things that are mischievous or dangerous, and that he knows will get him into trouble, are the types of things he avoids telling me in the moment.  Tristen has been in some dangerous situations before, because of his adventurous nature... like the situation he just told me about this past week.  
He has a sister, Avery, and she is just as special as he is.  I count her as much a friend as I do him.  She is such a pretty little girl, and her heart loves greatly! They are a little over a year apart in age, they are best friends, and literally would die for one another.  Their relationship is to be envied by all of us.  So when the two of them were talking in the back seat on a recent trip to town and Avery said, "should we tell Nana about that now," my ears instantly perked up!  Tristen agreed they should, and so they told me the following amazing little story. 

The children are not allowed in the back pasture where the horses are without a parent or without Randy or I.  They can pet the horses from "their" side of the fence, but not be on the same side of the fence as the horses.  Horses are powerful and dangerous creatures, just a misstep on their part, and a person, even an adult, can wind up seriously injured or killed.  There is a hard and fast rule about the fence at our house which separates horses from children, and the children know how serious I am about matters of their safety.

Evidently, once upon a time Tristen broke that rule.  The details of the story came slowly from the two of them as they rode in the back seat, and my jaw dropped, first in horror... and then in wonder.  It seems Tristen, brave lad that he is, ignored my very reasonable and necessary rule concerning going into the back pasture.  Avery, not being quite so brave, crossed the fence at Tristen's urging, but did not venture way back in the pasture where the horses were grazing.  As Tristen approached the horses, (six of them,) being the horses they are, some wild hair crossed one of their minds, one began running full speed at him.  Herd mentality then took over, and all six were soon bearing down on him.  Tristen began running as hard as he could for the fence which he was not supposed to cross, yelling to Avery, "run Avery, run!"  

Suddenly Avery said she saw Blue pick Tristen up by the back of his shirt collar while in a full-out gallop, carry him by this grasp all the rest of the way to the boundary fence, drop him, and deftly turn still in a full gallop and lead the rest of the horses back out to the back of the pasture.  Avery then remarked, "Nana, Blue tried to kill Tristen!"  

You would have to know Blue, she rules that back pasture with an iron hoof, and all the horses do what she says... or else.  At first I nodded in agreement after hearing the story of Blue picking Tristen up by the collar, but then I got to thinking about it, and it dawned on me.  Blue wasn't trying to kill Tristen, if she was, all she would have had to do was trample him down.  Blue was trying to save Tristen, and she did!  Blue is the largest and fastest horse in the pasture. and as I said, she is in charge.  When it is time to eat, she has to be monitored, or she will gobble her feed and hay down and move to the next horses' feed.  When we are giving out treats, or any kind of attention at all, she will bite at the other horses, displaying jealousy, and try and hog all the love.  

She got to Tristen first, picked him up, ran to where he was safe,dropped him still on his feet, and then led the galloping "herd" back out into the pasture.  I explained to the children, "Blue saved your life Tristen, the other horses would have likely trampled you without her action."  Both of the children turned to look at one another, and you could see the reality of the what had happened spread over their faces as they realized that was what had happened.  

Blue likes children, and loves engaging with them.  She watches them intently from the pasture whenever they are outdoors playing.  One cold winter day, she gave swinging on the swing set a try after observing the children swinging. The children had been playing in the backyard on the swing set, and Blue had watched intently from the back pasture.  They came in exhausted from the cold and the bit of sleet that had started falling.  I fed them cookies and hot chocolate, and they curled up on the sofa watching cartoons.  I was cleaning the kitchen and heard Blue begin to whinny, and I looked out the window to see the fix she had gotten herself into.  She had jumped the fence to get at the swing set and explore the art   of "swinging."

Her attempt at swinging wasn't as successful as she had hoped, but it was engaging...  She had hopelessly entangled herself, and I had to go out and work out all the "knots" she had gotten herself in.  She couldn't back out of the tangled swings, because they way she had put her head repeatedly through the swings made them tighten around her neck when she tired to pull back out.  At first I was worried as I approached to work her free, she was growing anxious by the time I dressed warmly to go help her.  Surprisingly, she remained still and calm as I freed her from the tangled swings.  As I led her back into the pasture, she muttered her "thanks," and I gave her a treat as I opened the gate.  She had clearly learned her lesson, swinging on the swing set was only for children. 

It was so easy to accept the children's account of what had happened because of their hiding the incident from me for months, fearful of my anger and discipline over the disobedience which had put them both at such risk.  As the drive to town and the errands were completed, I thought more and more about the miraculous events of that day, and God's protection of both of their lives.  Slowly an analogy of God's intervention in my own life so many times when I have found myself swept up in a terrifying power formed in my mind.  I thought of how at times I have been, because of my disregard of God's rules, running for my life.  I thought of how terror would sweep over me as I found myself picked up by a huge and powerful something I really couldn't even see as I ran from the danger I had brought on myself.  In my distress I didn't realize that the huge and powerful thing causing such panic within me, such terror, was really the saving hand of God reaching down to pick me up by my shirt collar, and set me down on safe ground.  I didn't understand until I was out of the danger zone, that He was teaching me forever the value of one of His "rules."

If you find yourself running from something huge that is bearing down on you, perhaps you should consider where you have been, and what you have been up to...  Perhaps too, you should realize your terror is a sign of God's love and grace coming to bear on your life.  Maybe you should listen for His voice, His direction, and His instruction, and when it is all over, look back and know that the fearful thing bearing down on you was His saving grace.  Sometimes God uses the terror of what our behavior has brought upon us to do some of His best "rescue work."  I thank you Lord that in my life when I have found myself in fear, and running for my life, You have lifted me up in Your protection and love, teaching me a life saving lesson.  Thanks to you too Blue,  for clearly hearing God's directions and lifting Tristen to safety.