Gathering in the Glade
WHAT’S going on in the horse pasture behind our house? Such a clatter and chatter as animals from everywhere hurry to take their places. Two of the resident horses….Sienna and Ebony…. are directing traffic. The robins, cardinals and chickadees are circling aloft. Sienna speaks up in her most authoritative voice: “You, up there! Take those front row seats on the lower branches.” And to the chattering squirrels: “Sit in the doorways to your tree holes.” While Sienna’s back is turned the pigs settle into the big, cool, mud hole.
The birds have already brought their seeds and flowers for the pot-luck and the squirrels have stacked piles of nuts in great quantities to share with their brothers from the woods. Here come the Jerseys with an ample supply of milk for all. Ebony heads to the barn for her contribution of oats. Mr. & Mrs. Fox, their children and relatives by the dozens are bringing fresh-picked raspberries in abundance. Billy Bear and his clan share a huge stash of delicacies they uncovered from the near-by campsites. Wow! The mice arrive by the dozens dragging their hoard of cheese and peanut butter to the family picnic and squeaking their greeting to all as they pass by. The deer arrive with fresh shucked corn and pine tree tip morsels. You can feel the excitement pulsing through the air. This is a great day in the woods.
Ole Paint gallops to the front and snorts for their attention. At just that moment Callie, the border collie, skids to a halt before the stately horse. “Sorry to be so late, Ole Paint. Had to get the sheep rounded up before I could leave.“ Callie takes off in a flurry of barks and turns as he corrals the critters in readiness for eating.
“Oh, I forgot to bring the dog biscuits,“ Callie plaintively reveals.
“Don’t worry, there’s plenty of food,“ assures Billy Bear while lots of heads nod their assent.
All God’s creatures, great and small, hurriedly find a comfortable spot and quiet down as Ole Paint leads them in a prayer of thanks for the abundance of food. The coyotes, ground hogs, crows, squirrels, rabbits, cardinals, chickadees, fox, bear, cattle, horses, pigs, robins, mice, deer and more enjoy a great feast while visiting with their fellow-creatures.
With the bright fall sun keeping everyone toasty warm and tummies stuffed with the bountiful foods of the woods the friends settle in for the rest of the day’s activities. Ole Paint snorts again for their attention and then whinnies his thanks for their grand participation in this happy thanksgiving time. “Let’s gather for a Circle of Praise, thanking our Heavenly Father for His goodness. We’ll stand close enough for our paws to touch. Mice, you hop on the backs of the coyotes so you can see better. All our feathered friends can rest on the larger animals.” Everyone scurries into place and the praises began.
Jersey speaks first: “Our family is so grateful for the new baby arriving safe and healthy.”
“Grandma Bunny was so sick for so long. We’re grateful she isn’t suffering anymore.” A whisper of “Amens” follow.
Susie, the deer, flashes her broadest smile, “I’m so grateful for the wonderful harvest of corn this season.”
“Uh-huh,” the other deer agree.
One after the other God’s creatures thank Him for His loving care and provision. Then, Ole Paint rises to his full height and gives a great snort. His deep bass voice echos through the glade: “I know I speak for all of us when we say ‘Thank you, Heavenly Father, for Your constant watchcare, Your goodness, Your guidance….and for the precious gift of Your Son, Jesus, Who teaches us how to live in peace and contentment. You are the one and only living God……’”
Ole Paint’s voice begins to fade and I strain to hear his words. My eyes pop open. I flip in my bed and part the curtain. There, a few hundred feet away, graze Sienna and Ebony and Ole Paint contentedly enjoying the bounty of the glade.
I think of Revelation 5:13: “And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, ‘To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever, and ever.’”
I heard it “straight from the horses’ mouth.”
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