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The Lonely Horse



Every day, I get in my truck and head out I pass this beautiful ranch just off a four lane highway. It is acres and acres of pleasantness and peacefulness. I've travelled this road for years but, I just thought it was empty fields of green. One day my eyes opened to something I hadn't noticed before. You guessed it, there is a single horse, standing alone within those fences.


My children and I have named him the Lonely Horse. We look for him every time we drive by. It's strange, I feel a kinship to a horse. Somehow, I identify with him. For so many cancer patients, caregivers, and those left behind, loneliness is a constant companion. It's actually a deeper word with deeper meaning, it is isolation. Isolation is the tool of cancer, along with so many other enemies in life. You cant think of 2020 without thinking about isolation. Isolation is the tactic that the most fierce lions use to hunt down and kill their prey in the African plains. Spiritually speaking, isolation is the same strategy used by the evil one who walks around like a lion seeking those he may devour. Make no mistake, he is on the prowl, separating people from all they know, want, and dream of.


It is strange seeing that horse in that pasture all alone. For example, my neighbor has no less than seven horses in his fields at any given time. I've never seen such a large area of land with only a single horse grazing. What may be even more strange is that I never noticed him until I knew what it was like to be alone. That horse has been there for years and I never noticed, until I felt the sting of isolation. I can't drive by there now without noticing him. I, along with so many have felt what it is like to be fenced in. But the fence that keeps us isolated is not made of wood and posts. The fence of isolation is built of loneliness, insecurities, confusion, and fear. And the fence seems to be closing in around you.


One day, while driving by the Lonely Horse, I was talking to him and saying, "hey buddy, I know how you feel". I started thinking about the fact that he had no idea that I even existed, much less took note of him. I began to wonder how many people out there don't realize that God is there when they don't even sense, see, or feel His presence. Countless scientific studies and research papers suggest that isolation kills cancer patients long before their tumors become life threatening. Of course, this isolation strategy of the evil one isn't limited to cancer patients and their loved ones. This darkness is the easiest tool and often the most effective one employed against humantiy. Anyone can be isolated! So, hear this - God is there. I guess I should say that God is here. I know, I get it, you want to feel something or see something to prove it. You want a sign. We often wonder why God seems to remain silent or hidden from us. However, if we can choose to simply trust Him, despite what or how we feel, we may find that He is closer than we even know.


So, what can we do to help others break free from those fences of fear and isolation? First thing is, don't assume people know you care. They will know you care when you take tangible action to care for them. There is a huge difference in caring about someone and caring for them. Pick up the phone, pay a visit, take someone out for lunch or a night out. You could simply sit in silence beside them in their living room and it would be greater medicine than any pharmaceutical available. The second thing I would offer as a suggestion is to never, ever say to someone that you absolutely know needs help, "If you need anything, call me." That phrase may make you feel good (about yourself), like you have done something for them by saying that. But make no mistake, it does nothing for the person who is isolated. Think about it, raise your hand if you are a person who just loves asking for help. I'll wait. Telling people to call you if they need a hand shifts away your responsibility and only adds a burden to them. You must take action.


I told my kids that the next time we drive by the ranch and the horse is anywhere in view, we would pull over and see if he would come to us. Sure enough, traffic was cooperating and the horse was about 100 yards away from the fence. I pulled off the road and as the kids walked to the fence, the horse walked toward them. I guess this means we will have to come up with a new name for him now. He was so happy that we stopped. He would have let us pet him all day. You may not believe it but, as I looked into his eyes, I could hear him say, "Thank you for noticing me." The question is put to each of us, how many people do we need to notice? No, you can't save the world but, you can reach out to someone. Notice them today.


Live Your Legacy,

Jeff





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