Star must have taken many blows.
The marks on her body displayed the evidence.
Sweat had dried and hardened her golden hair. Her eyes were weary, yet strong, and determined.
While every animal instinct should have had her on the front line of defense, she had turned and faced her own herd, in order to protect Princess Olive, a young, previously mistreated, and now permanently deformed filly. She took much of what was actually meant for the little interloper.
Although, by all appearances, a horribly cruel encounter for any new one, it is but a necessary reshuffling of the hierarchy in order to determine the parameters of the herd. Each equine encounter ends in a
showdown decision. One will dominate; the other will submit. When Star saw the overwhelming odds against Olive, she stood her ground. As the only mare in the pasture who has ever given birth, we believe she knew the difference in this little defenseless lamb and was determined to defend and protect her.
Initially, as is a good practice when putting any new horse in an established herd, we placed them in separate pastures. We even put our little donkey with Olive for overnight protection. But when we turned our backs to retrieve water, she effortlessly jumped the 4-foot dividing fence and ran right into the middle of our anxious herd. We were paralyzed by the absolute awe of it. Here we were trying to help this little rescued fragile filly and yet she was gutsy enough to run right into the middle of six healthy horses more than twice her size.
We run right into the middle of many messes.
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5
Unfortunately, Olive was wounded in her foolish attempt to force her way into their world. But her wounds are healing. Star took most of what was meant for Olive, put a hedge of protection around her, and stood so Olive could lay down and sleep. We lost an entire day of work just watching this unique display of selfless love play out in our little leased pasture. God does some of his greatest miracles in what we might all perceive as the most unlikely of places.
It has taken a few days but, literally, the dust has settled. Olive has been accepted. She has established herself in herd position and gets to push the little donkey…because she can. She ventures out alone looking for
him…hoping to prove her dominance. We’ve also seen her push the mares that rank upper middle. She struts her stuff when they move out of her way. But, what we see, that she doesn’t see, is Star standing guard, parting that path, giving Olive confidence, and making a way where there is no way.
I was pushed back and about to fall but the Lord helped me. The Lord is my strength and my defense he has become my salvation. Psalm 118:13
Our Lord’s lessons play out all around us. Some we see, some we take for granted, and more often than we ought, we take credit. He is still our rock, our refuge, an ever-present help in trouble…our bright and morning STAR!
Princess Olive was rescued by an amazing agency whose volunteers found her on a filthy farm, locked in a horse trailer with no food or water. They cleaned her up, gave her lots of love, and now she lives with us…fostered by a friend of ours who also exhibits selfless love.
We are humbled and honored to have the opportunity to teach Olive that she is a Princess and that her physical disabilities do not devalue her sweet existence. She is worthy of all the love we can lavish on her. And we look forward to all that God has planned.
Father, forgive the man who abused her…for surely he knew not what he did!
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