Little Things from Hope Rising by Kim Meeder
Purchase Hope Rising on our Horse Books webpage.
The four-legged staff at Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch work the hardest. They love every child with all they have, frequently building bridges into wounded lives where adults are not yet allowed. Often, the walls of destruction surrounding a child's heart are broken down beneath their trusted hooves.
Because the horses give so much for so little, we try hard to always have a "good horse" supply of carrots. It is just something we do, a small detail, a little thing.
Unfortunately, time restraints often force us to overlook the simple things of life and focus our efforts on the siren call of what must be done. Although necessary, we can lose sight of the blessing so many of the little things bring us.
Such was this particular summer day-a blur of tousled heads and toothy grins. And then I realized, we need more carrots. It was more of a thought than a prayer. But God must have heard me...
"I'll be right back," I called over my shoulder to the staff as I made my way up the hillside to our house. While retrieving more film, I decided to check for phone messages at the same time. During the summer season, Crystal Peaks receives forty or more calls per day. This day one message in particular got my attention. I dialed the given number. After a pleasant exchange of information, I headed back down the hill with a crude map in my hands.
"As soon as someone sees Troy drive up, would you please send him my way?" I asked. Soon after, Troy chugged up the driveway. I met him with map in hand and a simple request.
"I received a sweet phone call today. It was a total stranger asking if we could use some carrots in our program. Isn't that great?"
Not really knowing what to expect, I wanted to make sure that this simple gift was honored. I had assured the caller that we would come as quickly as we could spare the manpower and a truck. Although the gift was quite a distance away, Troy agreed to make the trip. Armed with a tall Mason jar of ice tea, he climbed back up into the cab. I secretly hoped the long drive would be a relaxing finish to his day, instead of becoming one more thing to accomplish on an already superhuman schedule.
Later in the afternoon the sun had slipped closer to the western horizon. When shadows began to lengthen toward the east, the staff and I began our evening ritual of ranch pickup and feeding the herd.
We were midway through this task when down below, nearly a quarter of a mile away, I recognized the sound of our truck's straining engine. I continued to listen as Troy rounded the turn that led up to Crystal Peaks. The engine complained loudly as the truck struggled up the hill. Puzzled by the labored sound, I tossed out the last flakes of hay and turned around to see what all the grumbling was about.
My jaw nearly bounced off my chest-I couldn't believe it! Like a four-wheel-drive Atlas, our truck staggered beneath the nearly impossible load. The front tires were barely in contact with the ground. "Oh my gosh!" I laughed out loud as Troy could barely steer the truck into the main yard. He was laughing, too.
Stewart, our new friend who had called earlier in the day, knew a farmer who grew seed carrots. Apparently, this was only a portion of his surplus.
The staff and I formed a makeshift brigade as Troy threw down the forty-five-pound gunnysacks from above. We continued stacking the sacks in the barn until there was a mountain of carrots so large that it would have nearly filled a stall-the total added up to about 2500 pounds!
After the job was finished, we all stepped back and looked with completely dumbfounded expressions at the monument we had just created. All we could do was stand there and laugh.
I told the staff about my prior thoughts of needing more carrots, although I never voiced it to the Lord or to them because it was just a little thing.
A simple thought crashed into my mind as if being hit by a one-ton wall of carrots. How completely wonderful to have a God who knows what we need even before we know. He answers our prayers even before they are prayed. He cares about the big things...and the little things.
"Little Things" excerpted from Hope Rising ©2003 by Kim Meeder. Used by permission of Multnomah Publishers, Inc. Excerpt may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of Multnomah Publishers, Inc.