The Hand of God

by Kevin on November 28, 2010

The bronc kicked him as he hit the ground for the sixth (or was it the seventh) time. Of all the horses Shank had ridden in his life, he hadn’t ever been bucked off seven times in a row. He’d get back on the sorrel with a white patch between his eyes that looked like an open hand for an eighth try just as soon as his breath came back from vacation.

“Hold up a sec, Shank!” said an old cowboy.

Shank was glad he had an excuse to have a breather and walked over to where Old Myron stood with a bunch of other cowboys that had come to watch the show.

“Shank, you’re gonna have to ride that horse pretty quick. I”m startin’ to get sore just watchin’ you get bucked off.”

Shank and the others smiled as Myron climbed into the pen. He walked over to the horse and took the night latch off the saddle.

Shank said, “I guess you can take that off Myron. It sure hadn’t help me stay on so far.”

Myron rolled the dog collar around in his hands and asked, “This horse isn’t bucking that hard Shank. It’s just buckin’ real nasty is all. Where have you come off ever’ single time?”

Shank thought a minute and said, “Off the right front…every time.”

“That’s right! You see son, this horse is buckin’ backwards on you. He jumps up in the air and comes down behind where he started. You do pretty good with the first jump, but with each one that follows, this horse sets you up and sets you up until he finally has you so far out in front that all he has to do is duck out from underneath you with a wicked left turn.”

Myron turned around and hooked the dog collar around the left side, back cinch D-ring. He told Shank to keep his right hand on the hack’ rein and to hold the night latch in his left.

“I’ve tried everything else. I might as well.”

One year later

“I’ll give $10,000 dollars to the man that can ride the Hand of God!!” cried the man in the suit.

Cowboys had gathered around the empty lot next to the saloon. A makeshift corral had been set up and Shank saw a sorrel horse standing in the middle. When he saw the “hand” in the middle of it’s face, he was reminded of the last time he had a steady job.

He had finally rode that horse easily with the help of Old Myron, but he had been let go by the ranch that evening. His life had been real hard since then. He had struggled to feed his wife and son with the day jobs that had come few and far between.

His recollection was broken as the man in the suit yelled, “For $500, any cowboy that has enough sand can climb up ride his way to a fortune.”

Shank knew two things. He knew he could ride this horse and he also knew that he would have to sell everything he owned to get the chance.

The next day, Shank buckled an old dog collar, the only possession he had left, on the left side back cinch D-ring and smiled at the irony of the Hand of God.

Matthew 13:44

β€œThe kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.”

Givin’ God a little bit of your life will get you absolutely nothing, but giving him all your are will get you everything.


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  • Don Coyote

    …and then some.

  • You always have something good to say, Kevin. I never feel like I’ve wasted my time at your blog. Before Jesus can fill the vessel, it has to be empty, doesn’t it? Thanks. πŸ™‚

    • Kevin

      Thanks for comin’ by Cindy. And yes, it does….gracias!!

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