Our family saw something captivating tonight. Breathtaking, paradigm-shifting, heart-opening. My words won't do justice of what I saw and how my heart has been captured all over again. My aunt and uncle invited us up to their home for a cookout with live entertainment, and a "horse whisperer." Sounded fun to us! But what we didn't expect was to drive back home with a fresh revelation of Father's loving pursuit and agape for us. We saw a man "break" a horse and God broke hearts. Some of us didn't know what to expect from a "horse whisperer", myself included. For instance, towards the end of the presentation, Zeke asked me, "When is he going to whisper to it? I thought he was going to break the horse in two..." Kids keep you laughing.
The horse whisperer man wasn't just a man, he was a cowboy. A legit cowboy. Zeke thought he was really cool even if he couldn't break one horse into two. His name is Todd Pierce. He and his family live in Idaho where they lead Riding High Ministries. The horse he worked with tonight was from the Inman, SC area and had never been ridden or trained AT ALL. In fact they had a real time getting the horse from the trailer into the training ring. He was stubborn and a little wild around the edges, the horse that is, not the cowboy.
The cowboy was so gentle with the horse, he never backed the horse into a corner or used aggresive body language with the horse. While all the "whispering" was going on, the cowboy spoke to us, the audience of about 100, paralleling the Gospel to what he was physically doing with the horse. He worked with the horse effortlessly. I didn't know WHAT to expect, you know? Would he have a special whip wherein he cracks it 2 and a half times in conjunction with a high pitch whinny would the horse shake off his wild stallion habits? Silly, I know.
From the beginning the cowboy told us that he represented God the Father and the horse represented humanity. The way Father deals with us is the opposite of how many our spiritual mindsets think they should go. God is truly so humble, Self-sacrificing, and constantly gets on our level. I loved how the cowboy said from the beginning, "this is going to be the opposite of how many of us expect God to be." I mean, this is true, the Pharisees expected something entirely different than the humble, mind-blowing Jesus. God is so kind and yet He isn't just here for our pleasure, to bless us, for us to walk in the cool of the day and be stroked and looked upon as His beautiful creature, just like the wild horse. We have purpose when we walk with Him, when we let Him lead us and love us.
In the beginning the horse was frantic, searching for a way out of the ring. He avoided the cowboy earnestly while neighing and snorting in defiance of his pursuer. But, before we knew it, the cowboy's gentle and never-giving-up pursuit granted him the right to kneel before the horse. The horse had stopped it's wild running and whinnying and was bending low to breathe in the cowboy's scent. Walls broken. The cowboy was unpredictable, but he was good and the horse began to trust.
The cowboy began to ride the horse bareback and once the horse received that lesson, the cowboy brought out the saddle and the bit. The cowboy paralleled them to spiritual gifts. That Father wants to use them through us to love others. They can feel awkward and uncomfortable at times, but Father wants to use spiritual gifts to bring love, comfort, and glory. There was more resistance to this, but the horse reluctantly at first but willingly in the end received the saddle and the rider. A shift took place with the horse. His ears no longer laid back in fear, his tail gently swooshed, he leaned into the cowboy's affectionate strokes. The cowboy could be trusted.
There is only one other illustration of the Gospel that has raptured my heart more than this and that is adoption. The tangible example of His intense love and grace for us, in the form of wild horse and a persistent cowboy have swollen my heart once more. Not to mention the scenery was gorgeous. He woos me with His gentleness AND through His Blue Ridge Mountains.