Chris Richards Horseshoeing
While on a senior shoot on a farm over the weekend, the young lady's horse needed some tending to.
The call was made and the horse mechanic showed up. A.K.A. The Farrier.
I studied his work, took a few pictures, and then it dawned on me... I'm just like that horse, and God is my Great Farrier.
Sometimes I get long in the hoof, sometimes I'm hobbling around in my walk with a splinter wedged just so, and while I might get around a little more tender, eventually my spiritual diet begins to sway and I begin to give in to just not moving. Standing still seems a better, more comfortable option, even holding one foot in the air is a temporary reprieve.
But it can't last. If I stay the way I am I'll just become this stoved-up, shell of what I was designed to be. Like that horse with mighty muscles bulging, built for speed and power with that long mane flying in the wind, but standing motionless in the round corral like some carved statue of what was once meant to be.
Inevitably, there's the call. God pays a visit.
He stands back and studies my posture. He eyes my foot and my careful step. He notes where the pain is, and He searches my ailment without a word or touch. I can feel Him looking at me. I see those leather chaps and the work gloves. I know what's coming, the labor ahead. The sweat on the rim of His hat tells me He's done this before, a thousand times a thousand. He knows just how I'll move, and just what I'll be thinking each step of the way. His experience radiates from His hands, worn and leathery from the shaping of the hearts of men.
He opens up the back of the truck, and out come the array of tools. There are many solutions to the many ailments, but He has everything He needs at His disposal, and I have only to stand still in obedience and let Him do His work.
He begins the filing, the clipping, the trimming.
Sometimes it hurts, because it's a tender spot to me, and I try to move away or even kick. He steadies my stance, and calls to me soft at first. "Whoa....Easy....Easy boy." I get a little more rebellious, but He's connected to me. He knows my thoughts and feels the muscles tense. He grabs hold of me and stands firm.
"Whoa!" He says, a different tone of authority in His voice. It's communicated to me immediately who will have the upper hand. He could pull just right and keep me unbalanced until the end of time if He wanted. I understand completely that I'm only making it worse by my orneriness.
Pieces of me fall to the ground. Pieces I thought I needed. But He sees them as foreign to the way I was designed and purposed. They are unnecessary, and He carves them away, roots them out. I want to resent Him, but inside I know He's performing this work on His Workmanship because He cares.
He loves me.
The work is finished and He gives me a slap on the rear. I buck out into the pasture. Free. Free as the wind. He's smiling at His handiwork. I realize I'm trotting...and it feels good. The pain is gone, and I give my new feet a trial run. Fast as the wind, I blow by Him as He hangs on the gate. I head out for open fields, where the thorns and thickets, rattlers and barbed-wire wait. I know I'll get into them. It's not a matter of if, but when. I'm made that way, and it's how I know I'll be seeing Him again.