The Heart of Kona
The sun was tucking itself in for the evening, shining through the tall pines that were stretching their branches up toward heaven to kiss the light blue sky goodnight. The warm summer air hushed and cooled as the Stellar jay and brown thrush ceased their song making way for the stars.
That is when I first laid eyes on Kona as his new owner led him up the gravel drive. Fear radiated from his eyes as his muscles quivered and head jerked in a frantic battle with the harness, ears twitching and hooves stamping. It was amazing that he was even letting himself be led into the stable.
I'm not a professional cowgirl. I did not grow up around horses. And I surely do not know the first thing about equestrian husbandry. Yet, I have carried an ache in my spirit to be with horses for as long as I can remember. Their beauty captivated me from the backseat of the station wagon. I gazed out the window scanning the open pastures for the creatures. The handful of trail rides my dad took me on allowed the scent of leather tack, straw, beet pulp, and horse breath to addict me at a very early age.
Now, I thank God for bringing me to a place where my girls can learn to ride and I can escape into my lifelong dream - even if it is just mucking and hauling and dumping. To hear their horse noises and feel their warmth and yes, enjoy their scent is all very therapeutic to me. Each horse has a unique personality. Each horse carries a unique story. The story of Kona has quietly woven itself into my own story.
The beginning of Kona's story is a mystery. The clues uncover harsh treatment, a broken nose, and a trip to the slaughter house auction. The rescue appears with a hopeful bid by someone who saw something more in Kona than a terrified, untrainable horse.
Through compassion, skill, and dedication of the true cowgirls and cowboys at All Starr Stables, Kona learned people can bring him good things. Kona learned the touch of a human hand can be healing. Kona learned their voices can be soothing. Kona learned he has a useful purpose.
As I went about my chores in the stalls, I made it a point to visit Kona. I yearned to earn his trust. There was something seemingly magical that drew me to this huge horse. Maybe it was the power of second chances that attracted me. I was afraid of his strength and the vision I recalled when he first came to the stable gave me no reason to want to get in the stall with him. However, there was something deeper about this animal that called out to me. Was there something of myself that I could see in Kona? No, I've never been on the auction block to be slaughtered for dog food; however, I was born a slave, a slave of sin and corruption. I have a Hero though! In steps Jesus. He saw something more in my soul than all others at my life's auction. Jesus bought me with His own flesh and blood - a very high price - and gave me a second chance.
|Gentle Kona & daughter, Elaina.|
It hasn't been easy, these years of training that I have been assigned to as a child of God, but there is no place I'd rather be than in the hands of my great and kind Master. He sees a purpose for me more lofty than I can even imagine. We stable groupies love Kona and know that he can enjoy life serving his owner and going on grand adventures with her. That is the same for me and my Lord. Jesus knows I will enjoy life more abundantly when I am walking with Him, following Him on great adventures.
Yes, there is fear in trusting in a God whom we cannot see and whose plans most of the time don't match up with human logic. Our strength quivers under the tasks our Owner Jesus gives us. Too often, we jerk our head away from Him in a frantic battle not wanting to hear what He whispers softly in our ears. We stomp our feet defiantly. Yet, the choice to surrender and let the Lord lead us brings us to green pastures and a might Fortress that is safe, peaceful, and full of love.
Kona is leaving the stable soon. He has met his goals. He is ready to serve his master and live on her property. I won't be able to see him now. His warm, sweet smelling fur will not be there for me to lean on when I'm weary. His ears won't perk up at my voice. Nor will his head rise higher than my own at the sound of my footsteps. No more standing on my tiptoes to reach the dried mud from his back after his romping and rolling about in the pasture. Even picking out his hooves was a blissful task.
Kona helped me conquer some fears of my own as well as discover pieces of my heart. Perhaps my Master sent Kona to help me read between a few lines of my own story.