This is the third and final installment of the Leftovers series. Don't cry because it is over, smile because it happened. It was originally posted on April 23, 2009 at the old Blessed is the Kingdom blog.
In the first post I forgot to name the horses that are pictured. Bubba is the very emaciated Palomino just below. He did recover but his arthritis was just too bad, and he was humanely euthanized. I miss him. The other horse farther down is Cary Grant. He was a part of the group that was stalled for forever; he is Secretariat's son/grandson (can't remember which). He is now living in a loving home. I miss him a lot as well.
Love One Another As I Have Loved You
I'm a volunteer with an organization called Horse Haven of Tennessee (HHT), and HHT's main reason for existing is to care for abused and neglected equine from all over East Tennessee. In the two wonderful years that I have been there, I have seen some pretty gruesome and terrible things. One horse was dragged behind a pickup truck because the owner didn't have a horse trailer. Another horse was left tied to a tree with no access to water for a very long time, and in the process of being tied up, he became blind. A group of horses were left in stalls, standing in their own filth for weeks. The stalls had no windows, so the horses literally never saw the light of day. While I never go out on calls, I do see the horses once they arrive at the barn. Some are so emaciated that I can count ribs and put my fingers in between them. Some arrive with rain rot all over, which is a fungus. A few have some behavorial issues.
My experiences at Horse Haven have not all been bad. I do see horses in their worst possible state. I do however see them recover, and they are happy and full of life. It's amazing what a little food, attention, and love can do to an animal that has gone without those essential things. HHT gives these horses a chance when they would have none otherwise. HHT's other goal is to adopt the rescued horses out to loving families. All of the horses eventually find a good home, but there are those rare occasions when some horses must be humanely euthanized. A handful have even been returned by the courts to their former owners.
The pictures I'm including show just how far they have come, how much they have improved. They are all beautiful animals, each with their own uniquely wonderful personality. This blog idea came to me when I was looking through my "before and after" pictures of the horses. If we can't respect other living creatures, how can we expect to respect our fellow humans?
Jesus said, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Sometimes it seems that we aren't doing a very good job of this, especially now amidst war and economic troubles. I even have a hard time practicing this great commandment at school. It's human though. We aren't perfect. When we have a terrible day and all we want to do is be mean to that person who just gets under our skin, we should stop and think. Or, when we dislike someone just because they believe differently or don't look the same, we should stop and think. We should stop and think about that person as a person of Christ, a fellow brother or sister. Jesus came for us all, He loves us ALL. Why can't we at least try to do as Jesus did?
Just as old and sick horses need to be taken care of, so too do our old, sick, poor, and hungry brothers and sisters. We should love one another as Jesus loves us.