Pastor's Blog
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February 13, 2013, 10:01 AM

Horse Sense

                Ever watch Little House On The Prairie? I do, not because I’m a fan but because with four daughters someone always wants to watch it. Little did I know that one day I would get to experience my own real life episode. Every LHOTP (figure out the acronym) episode has one of two things happening. One, the Olsons (the resident jerks) do something mean and get their comeuppance pleasing everyone. Or two, there is some kind of medical emergency involving farm stuff (falling in well, lost in woods, falling off a horse) where a little kid gets hurt and everyone scrambles to save them. Last night I got to experience the second option.

                While at some good friend’s house, who have horses, craziness breaks out. Jentri is learning   how to ride a horse on a 30 year old horse who is deaf and half the time refuses to move at all. I don’t know about you, but that is exactly the kind of horse I want my kid to learn about horses on. Things have gone remarkably well when “it” happens. We don’t know what “it” was, but the horse goes from not moving and eating grass to running at a full gallop over the field. As I watch (at first in amusement because I honestly didn’t think the horse could move like that) Jentri starts to scream continuously and the horse doesn’t stop. I start to become concerned and start screaming, “Quit screaming!” thinking she might spook the horse more. At the time I didn’t know the horse was deaf and yes I see the irony in my screaming to tell her to stop. The horse finally reaches the point in the field where there is a gate and turns out of the field and up the road. Finally, at this point it becomes too much and Jentri becomes unbalanced and falls off the side of the horse, hitting her back and side and then her head.

                I had already started running after Jentri at this point, and finally reached where she is screaming out loud, “I’m gonna die!” over and over (she is a little bit on the dramatic side). Jolee already had her standing so I wasn’t too worried until I saw the blood. It was creepy because she had a French braid so we couldn’t see where she was cut, but blood was running in rivulets down her neck. After finally getting her hair undone I find the spot she’s cut. It is only a 1 inch gash, but it has rock in it and is bleeding freely. I gently remove the rocks and slowly the bleeding stops. Her back is a mass of abrasions and contusions, her elbow is scraped and she has the cut on her head, but she doesn’t appear to have a concussion. We take her inside and try to wash her up and decide to take her home, wash her hair and then go into the ER. So we load up in my truck and start driving home.

                Jentri has been apologizing up to this point, and is remarkable calm especially for someone with a flair for the dramatic. But she gets very quiet and starts crying, and when I look at her and ask what’s wrong, she tells me she is scared that he might die. Without thinking, I asked her who was in control? She said God. I asked if she knew God and could trust Him, and she said yes. Then I told her that regardless of how it turned out she was golden.  Jentri then wanted to talk to someone, and asked  to talk to her friend Victoria, and I told her how about your grandparents and asking them to pray for you. So I finally get a hold of my Mom and have her pray on speakerphone for Jentri, and she does.

                At this point we’re home, and we go to the kitchen sink and take off her shirt and wrap her in a towel and start washing her hair. I’m using the sprayer and Jolee is washing as we are seeing massive amount of blood tinged water run down Jentri’s head and into the sink, she sighs deeply and the says very calmly, “I feel safe now.” Jolee and I just looked at each other and paused, then continued cleaning her up. We put her in loose comfortable clothing and headed to the ER.

                At the ER we give all our info and then sit and wait to be triaged. I slumped in a chair and looked down and realized that I had Jentri’s blood all over my hands and my shirt. As I’m looking I realize Jentri is ok, she is joking with Jolee and says she has prayed for no stitches and is showing no signs of a concussion, but then I start to get a little shaky. I started thinking about what could have happened…fractured leg, shattered arm, cracked skull, a broken spine…death. And as I’m looking at the blood on me I can’t help but think and ask God, “What was it like to have Jesus blood on your hands?  How much did it hurt to know the price had to be paid and He had to pay it?” And I thought that I didn’t think I could have done it.

                We get in a room finally, get a quick but very through exam, and Jentri gets 2 staples in her head. Jolee pointed out that Jentri had prayed for no stitches and got no stitches and Jentri said she was very grateful. And then we got in the truck to go home and I thought to myself, “God is good.” But then I had this thought, if she had died would God still have been good? If she had died would that make God not good? And  the answer is no, but it made me think about simply saying God is good, and how that little phrase has more weight to it than a ton of rocks and should not be used flippantly because it remains true regardless of circumstances. This time it was true in Jentri being ok, but it has also been true in other times when I have lost those closest to me.  

                So we all got back home and the kids get put to bed, and Jolee, Jentri and I sit together and say a prayer of thanks to God for sparing Jentri and making her hurts so small and everyone goes to bed.

                As a pastor I say things like I said to Jentri all the time. Trust God, He’s in control, He’s good regardless of how this goes. Funny what a totally different thing it is to say that when it is your own daughter and her blood is all over you. Makes you really think about if you really mean what you say. But I did mean it, even though it scared me some. And I thank God for yesterday, not because of what happened to Jentri, but because He used even that to show me that it is ok to believe what you believe. Sometimes as a pastor I tell everyone what I believe, but it is necessary for me to believe it as well, and I find comfort in knowing that even though it is hard, that by the grace of God I believe what I believe. Because there are times when you wonder, when you go through the motions and don’t really engage, but our faith is not a game or a set of beliefs, it is trust in a person and His name is Jesus. And I am thankful for whatever means are used to remind me that I can trust and believe in my good Jesus.


P.S. Jentri went to school today, wasn’t even really sore. Oh to be young and bendy, able to bounce back so quickly.


02-15-2013 at 12:34 PM
Ivy Moore
What I was told in freshman orientation at college 53 years ago: Believe your beliefs and doubt your doubts. Yes, God is good, all the time.
02-13-2013 at 3:54 PM
Traci Adams
Thank you for sharing and being transparent about what you were thinking and feeling while this was happening. I am thankful Jentri's injuries were not more serious. I love the... believe what you believe.
02-13-2013 at 10:47 AM
Lydia Wiatrek
I teared up when I read where you asked Jentri who was in control. David has so reminded me of the same thing many times.
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