Sunday, July 22, 2018
16 February 2016

No Man Left Behind

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When Otis appeared on a fellow rescuer’s wall, I knew I had to rescue him. I had never rescued before and cannot define what it was other than the soulful look of him that made me want him. When I arrived at the kill buyer’s lot, he was in a small round pen standing in mud, he looked so sad, so lost, so without hope. Next to him was a large grey gelding painfully thin. So covered in filth it was nearly impossible to imagine what he would look like cleaned up. The man informed me that he was Otis’ buddy. I was skeptical at first, but when we led Otis from the pen, Smokey began screaming. Yes, screaming. I’ve never before or since heard a horse scream, nor do I want to. I approached the man about taking both of them. He replied “He’s worth $.41 per lb for slaughter. Pay it or leave. They are just money to me.”


Anger surged within me. How had this happened to these two gentle giants who had spent their entire lives toting kids at a youth ranch? How? Biting my tongue to not say something I would regret and willing myself not to deck the guy, (I know I’m a Christian, etc, etc, etc, but this was enough to make even the best girl bad), I excused myself to call my husband. As I explained the situation I used the words that I knew would ring true in my husband’s mind and heart - “this is no man left behind.” He agreed saying that if they were that tightly bonded that he feared Otis would grieve himself to death, if Smokey were left behind. So, I paid Smokey’s ransom. Being that they are two big guys, it was just too cramped for them in the small trailer I had brought. So I made arrangements for transport and had to return them to the pen for just one more night. I fretted all night wondering if they could hold on just one more night. When they arrived the next day, they looked so tired and frail. We led them to the barn and wormed them. Then I petted them and turned them loose. They ran to the far corner of the pasture and ran back to me. They did this several times. Smokey looked like a great, white horse with his mane and tail flying out behind him. He was a sight to behold. A memory indelibly etched in my mind’s eye. The very image of redemption, grace and mercy bound up with power and strength and tied with the twine of friendship.

1. Is there something you have bound yourself so tightly to that your soul screams at the thought of being separated from it?

2. Would your grief threaten to overwhelm you to the point of death if you lost it?

3. Have you bound yourself so tightly to the love of Christ that Satan (the ultimate kill buyer) has no room in your soul?

4. Have you accepted the redemption, grace and mercy Christ bought for you when He paid your ransom by His death on the cross?

5. Do you have deep meaningful relationships with friends who would scream at the very thought of you being left behind?

6. Have you plumbed the depths of the very power of the resurrection to lay claim to the glorious freedom that is in Christ?

Romans 8:2 For the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you though Christ Jesus from the power of sin that leads to death.

Ephesians 1:19-20 I pray that you will begin to understand the incredible greatness of his power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in a place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.

(Smokey has since passed.  He brought us many smiles and laughs.  He was such a gentleman.  Rest in peace ol' guy.)

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