It’s almost Christmas, and a pony is not on my list.
I am an equine ignoramus. Every horse I’ve ridden, no doubt sensing my fear of it, has gone alpha and tried to rub me off on a fence, or nip my knee.
So I watch horses from afar. To me, this pose looks like devotion. Are they in love?
A primer on horse body language tells me the darker one is likely relaxed, or bored, or perhaps standing guard as its companion sleeps.
I admire their seeming contentment. And that watchful eye. The line of that black mane gracing the neck’s strong curve.
What’s my line?
As an experiment, I try to distill God’s thoughts toward me into a single visual line. Which type of line would you choose? And why? (Leave a comment below if you’re inclined. I’d love to read it.)
- Some would say plumb line
- Others (tongue-in-cheek), the erratic thunderbolt
- A circle might come up, or . . .
I vote for the gradual arc, ever-bending our way, the divine parental arm enfolding us in love.
These horses (who would normally unnerve me) now help me glimpse the graceful, focused tenderness that brought Christ earthward.
In love, he came
In this fa-la-la season—part holy, part hype, part dread over escalating explosions, shootings, and rogue weather—we remember ultimate devotion.
We remember that Jesus took on fragile skin, a finite body. He too battled a mortal mind prone to desolation, deceit, fear and meanness.
With his life, death, and resurrection, perfect love overcame fear’s dominion.
This love still bends toward us, ready to move in and through us, ready to reconcile our wild-oats-sowing souls with God.
It’s a love that mobilizes us to tend each other, and our out-of-whack climates across the globe.
To take a stand against injustice, and rampant wickedness poised to hijack hope, and peace, all our highest aims and actions.
Love bends toward us now, a matchless arc (or is it an ark?) in the surging darkness . . .
How will we respond?
Maybe it’s time to fall in love afresh with the One who said: “I will give you the treasures of darkness . . . so that you may know that it is I, the Lord, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name” (Is. 45:3 NIV).
No matter how dark and dire these times, treasures abound amid the terrors.
In Christ, the high-kicking joy of the foal can be ours again. Our minds were fashioned for many things—among them, mirth and mercy and inspiration.
As if to confirm this, “Deck the Halls“ says, Follow me in merry measure . . . while I tell of Yuletide treasure.*
Which sets me wondering: Maybe the songwriter, half-sloshed and trying to sing away the chaos of perilous times, stuttered on the word “follow” . . . and produced fa-la-la—which was more fun to sing. And then it stuck.
Give a listen to this instrumental version (2:00), and whether it’s the first time for you, or a renewal of your connection to God, ponder what it might look like to fall in love again with life and its Giver.
*”Deck the Halls,” Traditional, Public Domain, arranged and performed by Bill Klein, acoustic guitar
MAKING IT PERSONAL: What line shape reminds you of God today? And why? Please share! Your line shape may be the one that acts as a visual trigger in our lives to remember God, whenever we see it . . .