Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Update on Crystal Peaks "Hero"

The following is an update on the story of "Hero" as sent from Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch. If you do not know the beginning of this story, you can see it here. Hero is another horse like Able, whose will to live and forgive inspires us to be better people.

An Update on Our Hero
By Kim Meeder
God is so amazing. Only He can take what should be the end of us . . . and have that same hardship be the axis by which our entire life rotates toward greater depth and fulfillment in Him.
We have discovered that Hero's rescue was not the 'happy ending' of his story but, instead, it has become the very beginning.
Now we know that 'avalanches' are not only restricted to falling snow! Since the release of the 'Hero Story,' we have been BURIED under a wave of pure, white compassion. In response to your kindhearted encouragements and inquiries, we wish to give you an update on how our little Hero is progressing.
After four weeks in the intensive care unit at Bend Equine Medical Center, the devoted veterinary team that was caring for Hero determined that his blood volume had finally reached a safe level for them to remove his destroyed left eye. Once Hero was sedated, Dr. Wayne worked on his eye and head, while Dr. Wendy attempted an aggressive skin stretching procedure to help close the wound on his leg.
Our little Hero has since come home to a real hero's welcome. His story of undying hope reached across the Northwest and beyond. While pulling up the ranch driveway with my sweet boy in tow, I could hardly believe the sight that greeted us! Tears streamed down my cheeks as I drove through a cheering hallway of waving arms all reaching out to welcome us. Over 300 people had gathered from all over the Northwest and Canada to hail this once abandoned horse into his new family. A large contingent of media was also waiting to cover this inspiring story. Hero was finally home.
While slowly maneuvering through the applauding crowd, I was so deeply moved by every bright and cheering face. Amongst the crush, Hero backed out of the trailer and turned around to survey the scene with his one remaining eye. He was not afraid, he was not nervous. His only expression was one of pure awe. I wondered if he might be contemplating if this is what it feels like to finally enter Heaven. Surrounded by your beloved, many clothed in tears of joy at your long awaited arrival, cheering, clapping, and embracing . . . because you've finally come home.

Within these past months, we have seen a tremendous amount of healing that has taken place. As this restorative season continues, we are learning more every day that only a small portion of this renewal has actually occurred within our little horse, the majority has taken place within your hearts, lives and families. Individuals across the nation have been profoundly moved by this brave horse that just kept choosing to never quit. The mountain of cards, letters, emails and phone calls all give unique testimony to this fact. In an effort to help Hero, a small group of children from Paisley Middle School participated in a student-led 'walk-a-thon' and raised $1,200 to help buy the expensive bandages his leg wound requires. A young man sent his sincere encouragement - from Holland. A five year old boy opted to forgo his birthday right of receiving presents and chose instead to give his 'birthday money' to Hero. Held within a brown paper sack, was delivered his winsome gift of several bandages and fifteen dollars. News of Hero's story made headlines in nearly every local newspaper and to our incredulous surprise, even made the front page of The Oregonian on Christmas Day! Within the stir of publicity around this kind, little horse, hundreds have contacted us with their own beautiful story of renewed hope inspired by Hero. One envelope came to the ranch containing nothing but a Post-It note. The message was simple, but earnest. Without name or identification, it merely said, "I was thinking of ending it all, until I read about Hero. I have decided to change my mind . . . thank you."
The message of Hero's life is straightforward, 'If I can make it . . . YOU can make it. If I can survive miraculous odds . . . so can you.' His life is a testimony to the fact that we have a Miraculous Lord. Like a great scale, it is often out of our deepest tragedies that our greatest hope, our greatest joys arise. 2 Corinthians 1: 3-4 gives testimony to this truth. Our suffering isn't something that happens because God isn't paying attention. On the contrary, our suffering has great purpose. The all-encompassing comfort that the Lord gives us in our time of need is powerful enough to not only heal our heart - but also those around us who are suffering in a similar way. God's comfort in our time of distress is so prevailing, that His healing hope not only fills our heart, it overflows to all in need.
Amongst a steady steam of visitors, our sweet boy is settling in very well. His leg wound, though severe, is slowly closing. He is making new friends within our herd and is enjoying life simply as a horse, never again to be confined to a stall or sequestered away from his own kind. At the sound of my voice, he answers with a high pitched call in return. While changing his large bandage, I have learned to feed him a small amount of grain to quell his curiosity and keep him from licking the back of my coat, chewing on my hair, or stealing my hat. He doesn't seem to know that he should be depressed, sad or full of rage at the injustice he has endured. Hero just never has a bad day. Instead, he is bright. He is joyful. He is incredibly playful. Yet, most of all, he has clearly chosen to simply be . . . happy.

By his example, he inspires me, along with countless others - to do the same.

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