SIX WEEKS AFTER ARRIVING at the foster home, Karen’s Uncle Luke drove up in his Ford truck hauling a two-horse trailer. I was outside by the barn when I saw Mr. Luke. I was surprised and wondered why he was there and why he was pulling a trailer with his truck. He stopped by the barn and I stood in silence as I watched him unload one of his horses. Mr. Luke took great pride in his horses. All of them could be traced back to the foundation horses that made history in the American Quarter Horse Industry.
I ran to Mr. Luke and gave him a big hug and said, “I am so glad to see you!”
Mr. Luke looked down at me and said, “Terry, I am leaving King here with you.”
Excitement, appreciation, and joy flowed through me when I realized that he was leaving King for me to ride and care for. This solid foundation bred Quarter Horse, a son of the 234th horse to be registered in the American Quarter Horse Association, was bigger and taller than life.
Together, Mr. Luke and I walked King to his stall. After the stall door was closed, fighting back my tears, I looked up at Mr. Luke and said, “Thank you. I promise to take good care of King. Thank you, Mr. Luke.”
Mr. Luke’s answer was, “King will help take care of you.” Tears dripped down my face as Mr. Luke walked back to his truck to drive home.
This tall, dark, bay gelding became my all, my best friend, and the help I needed to get through that difficult time. I loved King and I told him every day how much he meant to me. At every opportunity possible, I jumped on him bareback and rode to the top of the hill. There at the top, King and I could conquer the world. We enjoyed every mile of the ride. Knowing that no one was around to hear me, I would belt out my prayer while sitting on King at the top of the hill:
Lord, I want to be what You want me to be…
I want You to be proud of me…
Lord, help me walk through the valley so low to the top of the highest hill.
Lord, I want to travel the journey You set before me.
Please hold my hand and help me to live in the center of Your will.
I need You, Lord, and I want You to be proud of me.
What an act of compassion from Mr. Luke. It seems he felt my struggle, picked up some of my burdens, and helped carry them the best he could. I know God honored Mr. Luke for his tremendous gift of friendship. Gratitude grew in every part of my being each time I rode King and thought about my unselfish friend, Mr. Luke.
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