Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Unexpected Vet Care

Courtesy of 

By Brenda Black

Seems there is always something that needs doctoring when you have kids, pets or livestock. At the moment, around here, it is all of the above.

When it comes to the four-footed segment, in addition to administering annual spring protocol for every parasite that bites or crawls on four different species, I'm now tending to an equine eye injury.

Though I don't have answers yet for a family member's health issues and I have no idea how long it will take for this horse to heal, I know patience and compassion make all the difference while I await results for each. My vet demonstrated both of these traits perfectly when he tended to our little bay gelding, reminding me once again of the kindness God delivers through the hands and words of others.
In order to appreciate what I'm about to describe, you need to get acquainted with the patient. 

“Cowboy” can be a fist full of spunk at any given moment. I warned the vet of his spirited personality, atypical for most 29 year old Quarter Horses. Considering the precarious location of the wound and the fact that I was the only assistant for the task, I sure didn't want anyone else to get hurt. This is the mount that I can ride like a dream for two hours, but never without keeping weight in the stirrups and a deep seat in the saddle since I know he can come unglued over a rabbit scurrying through the grass 20 feet ahead. He blows like a freight train on crisp, foggy mornings if I accidentally surprise him. Get the picture? He's full of vinegar at times and the reason for his name – it takes a real cowboy to ride him. Oh, did I mention, I love him!

No doubt, the veterinarian has seen his share of wild ponies and ragged wounds, but lucky is the horse that gets his tender mercies in their worst moments. Some would liken his method to constant chatter as he talked in a low, comforting tone. He chose kind words like “Buddy” and moved quietly and fluidly as he tended to every detail. Not every procedure was pleasant or painless, so he purposed to hasten those tasks – all the while, talking and touching and reassuring a beast who outweighed him a thousand pounds to his hundred.

I was thankful for his gentle ways. I'd seen him offer it before in an even more sobering moment, like the time another equine family member suffered a stroke. Then and now, as he spoke in hushed tones, he assured these creatures that he meant them no harm. I thought to myself that's how God treats me when I'm hurting or troubled. He speaks constantly in soothing tones with kind words and encouragement. Sometimes it's a lingering thought or a Scripture that comes to the forefront of my mind, compliments of the Holy Spirit. It may be a song I hear on the radio at just the right time or an old hymn that pops into my head and rolls off the tip of my tongue. God touches my life with generous portions of His gentleness.

Sometimes the Almighty still allows pain to accomplish the greater good. It might be to sharpen me or teach me a lesson. Could just simply be a loving correction. His medicine for many a spiritual ailment comes in hard-to-swallow forms like discipline or disappointment. But only for the moment. In the long run, He is always right and good and knows what is best. If we listen and follow the Great Physician's prescription, we get better.

If there is such a thing as irony, both my son and my horse are dealing with eye problems. So when I went to the Word today, imagine my delight to hear God chattering encouragement from the book of Matthew: “'Lord,' they answered, 'we want our sight.'

“Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.” (Matthew 20:33-34)

I hadn't gone searching for anything so specific! But, oh my, that was just the shot I needed!

Medicine or surgery may be the path to wellness, but the beautiful, compassionate touch of Jesus and His continual whisper of peace are the two greatest aspects for true healing. Thank you Dr. Brown for being so kind to the animals. And thank you for looking and sounding like Jesus to me. I was grateful for the reminder from my vet and my Lord.

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