Thursday, May 26, 2011

Lessons from a Horse

The movie Seabiscuit isn't just about a racehorse. It's about being broken and finding healing. It's about the underdog. It's about being down-and-out and someone giving you a chance. It's about loss. It's about optimism when facing an impossible situation. It's about "choosing life". Maybe it's because May has swiftly come and is nearly gone, bringing with it the second anniversary of Olivia's death, that I'm feeling particularly...thoughtful.

When Seabiscuit's owners first find him, they, along with the horse trainer, take him for a run around the track to see how Seabiscuit performs.
"He seems fast."
"In every direction."
"He's so beat up it's hard to tell what he's like."
And sometimes people can be the same way. The are so broken, bruised, and beaten down that it's hard to tell. Hard to tell who they really are underneath the layers of pain. Hard to tell what strength and beauty lies beneath. Hard to tell how wonderful they might be to get to know or to embrace in a relationship because all we see is the hardened, prickly exterior.
"He just needs to learn how to be a horse again."
I think sometimes as people, we need to relearn how to live again, especially after suffering or trials. We need to rediscover joy, remember our blessings, risk love again. Time has been a healer for me, but sometimes we don't allow ourselves the room to mend. We jump right back into life's chaos without stopping long enough to reflect, to bring our wounds to God and soak in His healing salve.
"You know, you don't throw a whole life away just 'cause he's banged up a little."
I am fond of quoting this movie line, time and again, because I don't believe that any person or any circumstance is beyond redemption, even if all seems lost and beyond repair. If there's life, there's hope. It might seem naive to some and foolish to others, but even after all that I have gone through, I still believe in miracles. I believe that He can change anyone and anything. I am willing to look beyond the exterior and see to what could be.
"You know, everybody thinks we found this broken-down horse and fixed him, but we didn't. He fixed us. Every one of us. And I guess in a way we kinda fixed each other too."