Would you give all your life’s savings to purchase a 30-year-old horse? Not to own outright, mind you. But, once purchased, the horse would be donated to a historic homestead property. A historical property on which the horse had lived most of its life.
Here’s the full story: The horse and homestead were suddenly separated at the time of its caretaker’s death. Unknown to the new property owners, a neighborhood teenager had been caring for the horse for years. The elderly caretaker and the teenager were friends, and it was he who had given her permission to care for and feed the horse on the property. In return, the teenager would exercise the horse–a horse up to that time had not been ridden in more than a decade.
It was an exchange the young lady took seriously–even joyfully. She so loved the horse. She arrived each morning at 5:30 a.m. Did I mention this is a teenager, caring for someone else’s horse? For at least five years, this young lady arose each and every morning, bundled herself up for the cold and made her way, flashlight in hand, even in zero degree weather, through the adjoining woods to feed and water this mare.The shed in which the horse lived had no electricity or plumbing. This young lady would muck out the stall, put feed in reach of the horse, and trudge out to a well for water.
She would check-in with the aged caretaker to make sure he was all right, report that her chores were complete, and the horse was in good stead. She did not once leave before all this was complete. Then, and only then, she could make her way back to her own home, her own breakfast, and catch a bus ride to school. In return, the teenager loved horseback riding–especially this particular horse. The two were constant companions.
One morning, upon arriving at the estate, she discovered the horse had been suddenly sold–and that the old caretaker had passed away. She was devastated. She ran home to her father, tears streaming down her cheeks, over the loss of her aged friend and ‘her’ horse, to boot. She was sure her father would know what to do. She had to find ‘her’ horse and restore it to its home. With her father’s assistance, the teenager searched through two counties. Following three months of diligent effort, the horse was found.
Even though it took the girl’s accumulated ‘life’ savings to buy back ‘her’ horse. The horse bounded joyfully through the gates into the pasture. The teenager was right beside the mare, kicking up her heels in exultation. The mare lived out its life on the estate.
‘The Tale of the Horse’ is a story of compassion symbolic to the lengths Jesus Christ went to for each and every one of us. He Gave His ALL for us. So we might find a place with Him in The Heavenly Country. — FM