THIS IS A TRUE STORY IN MY LIFE,
BUT LET ME START WITH A POEM
The unexpected kindness
from an unexpected place,
A hand outstretched in friendship,
a smile on someone's face,
A word of understanding
spoken in a time of trial
Are unexpected miracles that
make life more worthwhile.
We know not how it happened
that in an hour of need
Somebody out of nowhere
proved to be a friend indeed. . .
For God has many messengers
we fail to recognize,
But He sends them when we need them,
and His ways are wondrous and wise. ..
So keep looking for an angel and
keep listening to hear, For on life's busy,
crowded streets, you will find God's presence near.
Hellen Steiner Rice
I was educated in a Church of England school, and was a faithful Sunday-school attender. I believed there was a God and there were angels. At the age of 18 I had arrived in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. It was May 1961 and a heat wave, in the 90s F. all summer long, day after day. I had come to be a cowboy, to fulfill a dream from when I was 7 years old and saw my first Roy Rogers movie, in color.....a fancy dressed cowboy, with a beautiful golden Palomino horse, flowing white mane and tail running across the Western landscape.
I was at the riding stables within a week, learning all I could about horses [and that stable did just about everything with western horses you can think of]. I was talked into going to a local rodeo on an Indian reservation. I knew nothing about rodeos. I was talked into participating in the saddle and bareback riding. I also had no idea about "rodeo" horses. In your pro rodeos the horses are trained to buck, they are pro also, and basically buck in a straight line, so the cowboy gets into a rhythm. This rodeo on the Indian reservation.....well it was truly wild horses they were using. It would take them nearly half and hour to get a saddle on them, and they were jumping around, truly scared out of their minds. These horses did not buck in a straight line, but bucked all over the place, no rhythm; they were truly wild horses. But I was not in the understanding of any of this. I was bucked off the saddle and went down on the right side; my cowboy boot twisted and I was hung-up in the stirrup. Now the arena had one section that was loose dirt, about 8 inches deep, the rest was hard dry clay. I came off in the loose dirt. As I was laying face down right foot caught in the stirrup, the horse put its foot in the middle of my back, not a kick, but a placement; I felt my body pushed into the loose dirt right up to my ears. In the horse so doing, I was stationary while the horse was still moving forward - my foot came out of my cowboy boot, while the boot stayed in the stirrup. I was free, only a few scratches down my back; I was just fine. Some of the old Indian cowboys came running over to me to see how I was. One said, "You are the luckiest young man I have very seen; some getting hung-up in the stirrup can be seriously injured or even killed."
I came to understand "rodeo" bucking horse riding very fast after that first ever time, knowing nothing about it beforehand.
When I came to see what a very dangerous event I'd been in with real wild horses and a hang-up in a stirrup......coming off in the loose deep dirt, I knew without a doubt that God had sent an angel to me, to rescue me from what could have been a very serious injury or even death.
You bet angels exist, and one was looking after me that particular day in a rodeo with wild horses that was the silliest thing for any cowboy to ever think of doing.