In a nearby neighborhood, hidden around the corner of the Walgreens and tucked in behind the Methodist church are stables for boarding horses. I had lived here for fifteen years before knowing they existed. The stables are old, worn and border the last working cattle ranch inside the city limits of Colorado Springs. We board two horses there – Kokolo (a beautiful paint) and Whistle (a gorgeous bay). John grew up spending summers on his grandfather’s ranch and having horses of his own was a lifelong dream. Our middle son Blaine, entered the world with a love of horses, drawing them repeatedly ever since he could hold a crayon and saving every bit of money earned or given to him since he was five years old to buy one of his own. Whistle is John’s horse. Kokolo is Blaine’s.
But as goes the way of the world and schedules and growing up and life, the #1 caregiver of these horses is yours truly. What God has taught me and done in my heart over these last six years with and through horses is the stuff of Heaven. I will not write of those deep matters now. But of this…
Last week, I was bringing Kokolo in from the field when I saw on the other end of the stables a young child. The child looked about eight years old and was standing on a log watching me, then moved over to look out at a horse in an adjacent field. After putting Kokolo in his stall, I walked around to where the child was and saw only another woman, older than myself, standing at the gate, gazing out at her horse grazing. We greeted each other and then I asked, “Is there a child with you?” I looked around, seeing and hearing no one else. “I saw a little person over here.” She said, “No. There’s no one else here.” Oh! I was confused. What? “Well, I guess you are the little person!” She commented it that it had been quite a while since she had been called that.
I went into the tack room to get grain and oats for the horses. The room is dark and smells of hay, leather and feed. Everything is covered with a thick layer of dirt. I adore it.
Suddenly, the woman is in the room with me. There is an eagerness about her. She’s followed me in there to talk. Well, this is new, I think.
She asks me about church and where I go and tells me where she goes then confesses that recently she was telling God she didn’t think she could do it anymore. I ask, do what? Church? Or life? Life she said. I nod. Say I understand.
Then, she begins to tell me of meeting a man through a friend. A Christian man. A man slightly older than herself. A single man. A potentially good man. Husband material. Ah ha!
A light comes into her eyes and there is the little person. She isn’t 64 years old. She is 8. Or 16. She is hope reborn. She is the possibility of being loved and loving. She is beautiful. She could have done spinning twirls in the field and I would have joined her. She is giddy and makes me giddy. I shout my prayers on her behalf up to the clouds and we laugh.
I know beauty is ageless. I know that though our outer man is decaying our inner man is being renewed day by day. I know God has set eternity in our hearts. I know that nothing makes a woman blossom like love. I just forgot. We are forever young. It was a joyous thing to remember.