Ray Keller’s Story – Part One
By Jean Oman, Co-founder
The large cream-colored gelding had lost track of how many days and nights he had been stalled in that tiny space, encased in barbed-wire, exposed to the cold, heat and storms. There was only three feet on each side – way too small for the big horse he knew himself to be. When the huge 110 pound dog barked and made him jump with fear, there was always an encounter with those razor-sharp spikes and it really hurt. He closed his sightless eyes and dreamed of an endless grassy pasture to graze in. Did he dare to think about what a mouthful of grain might taste like? Oh, that must be what Heaven would be! His mouth watered and he licked his lips with the fantasy.
He lifted his head – were those footsteps he heard approaching? He could hear the faintest sound, as that sense along with smell and touch, had become so acute to make up for his blindness. The footsteps paused for a moment. He could smell the visitor who was standing right in front of his stall, sizing him up. Oh, what he would give for a pet, a word of kindness and maybe even a bite of an apple, or, did he dare wish for a kiss on his soft nose?
God’s innocents know Him well and He cares for each one of His precious creatures. “What is the price of two sparrows? – one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it.” (Matthew 10:29 New Living Translation). “Please God, Please!” he prayed. Sadly, there was no word, no touch, and no treat. The footsteps resumed and grew softer until they were gone. Was this how it was going to be for the rest of his seemingly endless days and nights? His big heart sank.
Why, oh why? What had he done to deserve this? His large frame was gaunt from starvation and his long legs were so gangly and thin. Skin stretched over his bony pelvis and rump. What was supposed to be filled out and shapely, stuck out like an empty sawhorse. He was hungry all the time and knew that he looked like a skeleton. Would anyone ever care about him? Could someone find it in their hearts to love a blind, ugly horse? His heart ached with the heavy burden he bore, not on his back where he longed to carry a friendly companion, but this boulder he carried was lodged deep in his soul. With overwhelming sadness, his massive head dropped back down again, with what seemed like no chance for hope.
Ray’s mother realized shortly after she had given birth, warmed him up with her kisses and lovingly nudged him to his feet, that there was something very special and different about this tiny foal. His eyes had a strange look about them. There was too much white flesh showing, and his undeveloped pupils were frozen into a vacant stare. Unlike other babies, he cried for her unless she was physically within reach of him at all times. He needed her to remain close to him, much closer than the other foals required of their mothers. She determined that she was going to be right there for him as long as possible. Ray knew he was loved, and rested in the security of his mother’s nurture, delicious milk, and constant care. This sweet but distant memory would sustain him during those starving, lonely times he would have to endure.
To be continued...